Schubert: Piano Sonatas D959 & D960

Krystian Zimerman

Schubert: Piano Sonatas D959 & D960
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Schubert: Piano Sonatas D959 & D960

Krystian Zimerman

Legendary Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman in his first solo album for DG for over twenty-five years. Revelatory readings of Piano Sonatas D959 & D960, Schubert’s last major compositions for the piano before his death aged thirty-one. Recorded at the Kashiwazaki City Performing Arts Centre in Japan in January 2016.

Krystian performed these last two eternal masterworks intensely over the last few years to highest critical acclaim. This album is set to take its place among the great Schubert recordings.

Review

I think I need to be honest and say I’ve been on a bit of a Schubert bandwagon lately – though mostly his symphonic and chamber repertoire – so it was a delight to review this piano album. I started listening to it in the background as I prepared for the day, but kept getting distracted – this album draws the ear and brain into listening intently.

Zimerman hasn’t made a solo recording in about 25 years and on this one, recorded in Japan, his performance is a work of art – not to mention the beauty of the music itself. The keys inserted on Zimmerman’s piano for this recording were handcrafted by him and create an amazingly smooth sound/tone.

It is the first time that Zimerman has recorded these two late piano sonatas of Schubert’s: he’s very careful about creating a natural and unforced performance, and doesn’t want to create ‘definitive’ recordings, as he believes that being a musician is so much more fluid than that. Don’t let this worry you – this is a flowing and delightful recording of two of Schubert’s mature works.


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