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Thread: Schubert Piano Sonata Cycles

  1. #16
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Imogene Cooper is great in these, but unfortunately hard to find
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bourdon View Post
    Deleted..........
    Why?


    Llll. Smsncbsmcn sms mon s mn

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Any love for Mitsuko?

    716n5ghH-rL._SY355_.jpg

    Far from a full cycle of the sonatas (it's nothing but late Schubert), but at 8 discs it looks pretty thorough. I've only heard the 3 Klavierstücke and the B-flat major sonata from her. Both are great. I would say her playing is somewhat like Alfred Brendel's Schubert, only a little bit "dreamier" and less grounded than Brendel... which really works in Schubert, IMO. She studied for a time in Vienna with Wilhelm Kempff, and that shows, too.

    I have her Mozart sonatas cycle and have no desire to get another (though probably will eventually... need to read through Itullian's Mozart thread again and try and get a feel for which ones are worth going for).

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    I. As Schubert Piano Sonatas cycles go, the best sets I've heard are from Alfred Brendel (his 1st Philips cycle), Ingrid Haebler, Radu Lupu, and Michel Dalberto--whose Denon/Brilliant cycle attractively includes various unfinished fragments and posthumous works that other cycles don't offer--some of which are very beautiful. For me, Dalberto's excellent survey includes some of the finest playing I've heard from him (along with his RCA Debussy), as he has a special affinity for Schubert's music. Interestingly, I know a musician that prefers Dalberto to Sviatoslav Richter in Schubert, which is saying something. Andras Schiff's Decca cycle is excellent, too--at least, judging from what I've heard of it. I don't think that Brendel's 2nd digital cycle for Philips is generally as good as his first analog survey for Philips, as Brendel's technique is usually preferable--i.e., more nimble & fluent--on his earlier recordings; however, I've especially liked his playing of the 3 Klavierstücke, D. 946 from the later digital set--as it's one of my favorite Brendel Schubert discs (but then, so too is his earlier D. 946):

    Brendel 2, D. 946: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-231zQ2A6Y
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Pian...s=music&sr=1-1.

    Nor am I quite as consistent a fan of Wilhelm Kempff's 1960s DG Schubert cycle as others are, although Alfred Brendel has said that "at his best, he [Kempff] played more beautifuly than any of us". For me, that "best" was often found on Kempff's earlier mono recordings, where his piano technique was better than on the later 'stereo' DG recordings (as with his recently released pre-war Beethoven recordings on APR, for example, and earlier mono DG recordings). So, if APR ever releases any pre-war mono Schubert from Kempff (if it exists), count me in. However, that doesn't mean that Kempff isn't illuminating on his later DG recordings, as he can be, & very much so--for example, his D. 845: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtSQ0rDIPlc. (Indeed, for many, this will be the set to buy, but not so much for me ...)

    On a period piano, Paul-Badura Skoda's Schubert is probably my top choice, on the Arcana label: https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Comp...s=music&sr=1-9. (I've not heard Badura Skoda's earlier RCA cycle on a piano: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Badura-S...s=music&sr=1-8.) Jan Vermeulen and Alexei Lubimov are interesting in Schubert, too--on period pianos, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Vermeulen plays on an 1826 Nannette Streicher fortepiano, which was unexpectedly discovered in an attic in surprisingly good condition. However, it's thinner 'antique' sound won't be for everyone, and it did wear on me a bit, when I listened to his Schubert in larger doses...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=susfawk0fe4
    https://www.allmusic.com/album/schub...5-mw0001947434
    https://www.prestomusic.com/classica...for-fortepiano

    If pressed to recommend a starter cycle, I'd select the Eloquence Ambient Surround Sound Imaging, or AMSI box set remasters of Brendel's Schubert, which is mostly drawn from his earlier analog Philips cycle. The set is a real bargain, too, and the remasters are exceptional: as they sound like my old Philips LPs played on a high end system, but without the crackles: https://www.amazon.de/Brendel-spielt...gateway&sr=8-1.

    Note that Brendel's earlier 8 Impromptus on Philips won a Rosette award from the old Penguin Guide, and deservedly so, IMO, and the recording can be bought individually, if you choose not to buy the above set (& I'd strongly recommend them):

    Not surprisingly, they've been issued multiple times:
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Comp...s=music&sr=1-1
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Comp...s=music&sr=1-2
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Impr...s=music&sr=1-5

    I'd also recommend Michel Dalberto's fine Denon cycle, too (for it's near completeness, assuming that that's important to you?), if you can find it at a bargain price (as the Brilliant label has reissued the complete set at least twice, but it's presently OOP, I believe, and very pricey). Lupu and Haebler are superb in their Schubert surveys, as well. (EDIT: Oh yes, one more that I forgot to mention--Imogen Cooper's survey, "Schubert: The Last Six Years, 1823-1828", on Ottavo, is excellent (& quite moving), as well, but may be hard to find these days at an affordable price. I suspect it's preferable to Cooper's later BBC live set on Avie, having heard bits and pieces of her second survey. By the way, most all of "late" Schubert is special music--that is, anything listed in the high D. 800s & virtually all of his D. 900 works; although it is strange to call these works "late", since Schubert died at only age 31.)

    II. But!, some of my favorite Schubert pianists and their best recordings aren't part of complete cycles. So, here's a list of some of my most treasured individual Schubert recordings:

    1. Emil Gilels--6 Moments Musicaux: this is one of the 'classic' recordings of these six pieces; Fantasia in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940, with his daughter, Elena, on DG, the Piano Sonata in D Major, D. 850 "Gasteiner", and Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 784, on RCA Living Stereo & Victor (which both come in Gilels RCA box set). Gilels is one of my favorite Schubertians, and he's also one of my favorite pianists, especially in Beethoven, Prokofiev, & Schubert:

    Gilels: Moments Musicaux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HKTL8d25CE
    https://www.amazon.com/Emil-Gilels-S...gateway&sr=8-7
    https://www.amazon.com/Sergei-Prokof...c&sr=8-2-fkmr0
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Pian...=dmusic&sr=1-9
    https://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Piano-S...dmusic&sr=1-10

    2. Maria-Joao Pires--8 Impromptus, 6 Moments Musicaux, Piano Sonatas D. 784, D. 845, & D. 960, Fantasia in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940 (there are two excellent recordings, the first with Hüseyin Sermet on Erato, and the second one with Ricardo Castro on DG). Pires finds the darker, more uncomfortable elements in Schubert's music, which other pianists tend to miss, or are afraid to bring out to the same degree. Personally, I'd consider Pires to be one of the finest Schubert pianists of the digital era (on both Erato & DG):

    Pires, 8 Impromptus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yVZu05WZ9o
    Pires, Moments Musicaux:
    No. 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=corOqDRunBo
    No. 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_mYIhwfUoU
    Pires: D.845: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QYZifNLytI
    Pires: D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spKd2kpnvY0
    Pires, Fantasia, D. 940, with Castro:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzOtB6fJhiw, and Sermet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcmv...&start_radio=1

    3. Radu Lupu--8 Impromptus (included in the Lupu box set), Fantasia in C, four hands, D. 946 (with Murray Perahia), etc.:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUaW0wl6htc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qklN2euqEnQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79LnvWuVKE4

    4. Sviatoslav Richter--Richter is arguably at his best in Schubert's late Piano Sonatas, especially D. 958 & 960. I've most liked his early 1970s Eurodisc/Olympia recordings, but the others are excellent, too (if with a more variable sound quality). In addition, the Wanderer Fantasy that Richter recorded for EMI is considered one of his 'classic' recordings:

    Richter, D. 958 (Eurodisc--1972, Salzburg):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoZRKkpWA5g
    Richter, D. 960 (Eurodisc--1972, Salzburg): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lncNcNtGkJY
    Richter, D. 894, D. 575, D. 840 (on Philips): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA-RtFKBnEQ
    Richter, D. 760 "Wanderer Fantasy": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJQQ0fPemaE

    There's an interesting interview with Glenn Gould in the Richter "Enigma" documentary film, where he talks about how he didn't especially like Schubert's piano music--due to it annoying "repetitive structures" that made him "squirm"!, until one day he heard Richter play Schubert's last Piano Sonata, D. 960 in recital, and to his great surprise, found himself in a "hypnotic trance": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1iUdM5k5Hc. I had a similar experience when I first listened to Richter's Eurodisc LP of this sonata--as I found the music 'other worldly' and unforgettable.

    5. Lazar Berman--D. 960 (various). Berman was a very underrated Schubertian, IMO, and his D. 960 recordings are among the finest I've heard.

    Berman, D. 960:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j563TD47yzs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRpkXQA3fBk

    6. Edwin Fischer (historical): 8 Impromptus, 6 Moments Musicaux, Wanderer Fantasy, D. 760:

    Fischer, 8 Impromptus--this used to be considered one of the great Schubert recordings in the catalogue (along with Schnabel's recordings):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCzCrJLybKY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FXw...38D51C35144275
    Fischer, 6 Moments Musicaux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRFE...86184488381E28
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Impr...c&sr=1-1-fkmr1

    7. Artur Schnabel (historical): All of Schnabel's pioneering recordings (as he was an early champion of Schubert's piano music), which were formerly released on EMI References, and are now all boxed. I wouldn't want to be without Schnabel's D. 960, most particularly--as he's not as slow as the Russians, but he may be even more profound:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfYi...&start_radio=1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQLr...aF0vAgQXGS2rhZ
    Schnabel, D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grY7ds78XQE

    8. Vladimir Ashkenazy--the Wanderer Fantasy, D. 760, Piano Sonata in D major, D. 850, Piano Sonata in A major, D. 664, Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 784, & 12 Waltzes. IMO, Ashkenazy is an underrated Schubertian:

    This is one of the finest Schubert recordings made during the digital era, IMO: https://www.allmusic.com/album/schub...e-mw0001865966

    Ashkenazy, D. 850: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhFP...OEjQ_uX8ImmUOo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXSQZJVcD08
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aGgKuCrr_8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIq_jxqLrZA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydM6sBfsqwo

    9. Valery Afanassiev--his D. 960 (various--Denon, ECM, live 2013). Afanassiev's Schubert is more controversial, as he tends to slow down a lot in Schubert's final D. 960 Piano Sonata--which is typically Russian!--i.e., Richter, Yudina, etc., with the one exception being Vladimir Sofronitsky's D. 960 (among those I know); although with that said, Afanassiev is probably the very slowest Russian on record. Some find it revelatory, others not so much. I wasn't as entirely won over by Afanassiev's 6 Moments Musicaux, but I wouldn't call it an average recording, either. He's too interesting a musician, even when you don't agree with him. Plus, I'd say that Afanassiev's slower than usual interpretations are arguably more spellbinding in the concert hall, than they are on CD (which is possibly a general truth):

    Afanassiev, D. 960 (live, 2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1oNW4SnGWQ
    Afanassiev, D. 960 (studio, I believe ECM, but it could be the Denon recording, I'm not sure...): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYgIzn9lr8c

    10. Alfred Brendel--Fantasia in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940--his classic early Vox recording with pianist Evelyn Crochet. By the way, there is an earlier Schubert cycle that the young Brendel made for the Vox Turnabout label, which some collectors feel is the finest of his three surveys. However, IMO, the sound quality is more limited--so, unless it were to receive a better CD remastering some day, for now, I prefer Brendel's 1st Philips Schubert survey.

    Brendel & Crochet: Fantasia, D. 940: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BdGo_t-5E4

    11. Paul Badura-Skoda: he has recorded two Schubert cycles, for Arcana & RCA, but some of his individual recordings on Gramola & Genuin are well worth hearing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrhL...PMpRFd1RuwhaKg
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Wand...s=music&sr=1-2

    12. Ingrid Haebler--Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 845: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Q10MZNUwM, and D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nApOrjkGJMw, etc.

    13. Annie Fischer, Piano Sonata No. 21, D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PWf...&start_radio=1. Annie Fischer was remarkable in Schubert (and Schumann & Beethoven), but I'd generally recommend focusing on her studio recordings, as Fischer tended to make a lot of mistakes in her recitals, especially late in her career, and it could get ugly (& choppy). Yet, her interpretations are consistently penetrating and profound. Indeed, I recall once hearing Fischer in recital in NYC, and thinking that it was the finest Schumann playing I'd ever heard, and then she suddenly launched into a series of bad mistakes and missed notes, over which she repeatedly grimaced in a self-berating manner, and then she recovered, and returned to being incredible again. (Her Beethoven was like that too.)

    My 5 cents.

    P.S.--As is usual with my lengthier posts, the above 'overview' is intended to be explored over time, rather than all at once.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jun-11-2019 at 00:35.

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  6. #20
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    On a period piano, Paul Badura-Skoda's Schubert is probably my top choice, on the Arcana label: https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Comp...s=music&sr=1-9. (I've not heard Badura Skoda's earlier RCA cycle on a piano: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Badura-S...s=music&sr=1-8.) Jan Vermeulen and Alexei Lubimov are interesting in Schubert, too--on period pianos, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Vermeulen plays on an 1826 Nannette Streicher fortepiano, which was unexpectedly discovered in an attic in surprisingly good condition. However, it's thinner 'antique' sound won't be for everyone, and it did wear on me a bit, when I listened to his Schubert in larger doses...
    Badura-Skoda commands attention in Schubert sonata realm with great period instrument set from 1990s mentioned by J13 (and others) using multiple Graf keyboards spanning 1820-40 period, another strong period contender is Staier but his incomplete set only available on multiple oop CDs at insane used prices.......

    The 1960s RCA Badura-Skoda done with modern keyboard is also really great set and competes with best available versions, only caveat is that this is "original album" set so CDs duplicate vinyl content with only 40-50 minutes per CD expanding boxset size to 12 CDs, small price to pay for such excellence....




    Agree with J13 that the harder to find 1970s Brendel set is the way to go, originally on old Phillips label but can now be found at reasonable price on Eloquence label with newer remaster of sound......

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jul-16-2019 at 05:09.

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  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    I. As Schubert Piano Sonatas cycles go, the best sets I've heard are from Alfred Brendel (his 1st Philips cycle), Ingrid Haebler, Radu Lupu, and Michel Dalberto--whose Denon/Brilliant cycle attractively includes various unfinished fragments and posthumous works that other cycles don't offer--some of which are very beautiful. For me, Dalberto's excellent survey includes some of the finest playing I've heard from him (along with his RCA Debussy), as he has a special affinity for Schubert's music. Interestingly, I know a musician that prefers Dalberto to Sviatoslav Richter in Schubert, which is saying something. Andras Schiff's Decca cycle is excellent, too--at least, judging from what I've heard of it. I don't think that Brendel's 2nd digital cycle for Philips is generally as good as his first analog survey for Philips, as Brendel's technique is usually preferable--i.e., more nimble & fluent--on his earlier recordings; however, I've especially liked his playing of the 3 Klavierstücke, D. 946 from the later digital set--as it's one of my favorite Brendel Schubert discs (but then, so too is his earlier D. 946):

    Brendel 2, D. 946: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-231zQ2A6Y
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Pian...s=music&sr=1-1.

    Nor am I quite as consistent a fan of Wilhelm Kempff's 1960s DG Schubert cycle as others are, although Alfred Brendel has said that "at his best, he [Kempff] played more beautifuly than any of us". For me, that "best" was often found on Kempff's earlier mono recordings, where his piano technique was better than on the later 'stereo' DG recordings (as with his recently released pre-war Beethoven recordings on APR, for example, and earlier mono DG recordings). So, if APR ever releases any pre-war mono Schubert from Kempff (if it exists), count me in. However, that doesn't mean that Kempff isn't illuminating on his later DG recordings, as he can be, & very much so--for example, his D. 845: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtSQ0rDIPlc. (Indeed, for many, this will be the set to buy, but not so much for me ...)

    On a period piano, Paul-Badura Skoda's Schubert is probably my top choice, on the Arcana label: https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Comp...s=music&sr=1-9. (I've not heard Badura Skoda's earlier RCA cycle on a piano: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Badura-S...s=music&sr=1-8.) Jan Vermeulen and Alexei Lubimov are interesting in Schubert, too--on period pianos, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Vermeulen plays on an 1826 Nannette Streicher fortepiano, which was unexpectedly discovered in an attic in surprisingly good condition. However, it's thinner 'antique' sound won't be for everyone, and it did wear on me a bit, when I listened to his Schubert in larger doses...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=susfawk0fe4
    https://www.allmusic.com/album/schub...5-mw0001947434
    https://www.prestomusic.com/classica...for-fortepiano

    If pressed to recommend a starter cycle, I'd select the Eloquence Ambient Surround Sound Imaging, or AMSI box set remasters of Brendel's Schubert, which is mostly drawn from his earlier analog Philips cycle. The set is a real bargain, too, and the remasters are exceptional: as they sound like my old Philips LPs played on a high end system, but without the crackles: https://www.amazon.de/Brendel-spielt...gateway&sr=8-1.

    Note that Brendel's earlier 8 Impromptus on Philips won a Rosette award from the old Penguin Guide, and deservedly so, IMO, and the recording can be bought individually, if you choose not to buy the above set (& I'd strongly recommend them):

    Not surprisingly, they've been issued multiple times:
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Comp...s=music&sr=1-1
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Comp...s=music&sr=1-2
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Impr...s=music&sr=1-5

    I'd also recommend Michel Dalberto's fine Denon cycle, too (for it's near completeness, assuming that that's important to you?), if you can find it at a bargain price (as the Brilliant label has reissued the complete set at least twice, but it's presently OOP, I believe, and very pricey). Lupu and Haebler are superb in their Schubert surveys, as well. (EDIT: Oh yes, one more that I forgot to mention--Imogen Cooper's survey, "Schubert: The Last Six Years, 1823-1828", on Ottavo, is excellent (& quite moving), as well, but may be hard to find these days at an affordable price. I suspect it's preferable to Cooper's later BBC live set on Avie, having heard bits and pieces of her second survey. By the way, most all of "late" Schubert is special music--that is, anything listed in the high D. 800s & virtually all of his D. 900 works; although it is strange to call these works "late", since Schubert died at only age 31.)

    II. But!, some of my favorite Schubert pianists and their best recordings aren't part of complete cycles. So, here's a list of some of my most treasured individual Schubert recordings:

    1. Emil Gilels--6 Moments Musicaux: this is one of the 'classic' recordings of these six pieces; Fantasia in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940, with his daughter, Elena, on DG, the Piano Sonata in D Major, D. 850 "Gasteiner", and Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 784, on RCA Living Stereo & Victor (which both come in Gilels RCA box set). Gilels is one of my favorite Schubertians, and he's also one of my favorite pianists, especially in Beethoven, Prokofiev, & Schubert:

    Gilels: Moments Musicaux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HKTL8d25CE
    https://www.amazon.com/Emil-Gilels-S...gateway&sr=8-7
    https://www.amazon.com/Sergei-Prokof...c&sr=8-2-fkmr0
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Pian...=dmusic&sr=1-9
    https://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Piano-S...dmusic&sr=1-10

    2. Maria-Joao Pires--8 Impromptus, 6 Moments Musicaux, Piano Sonatas D. 784, D. 845, & D. 960, Fantasia in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940 (there are two excellent recordings, the first with Hüseyin Sermet on Erato, and the second one with Ricardo Castro on DG). Pires finds the darker, more uncomfortable elements in Schubert's music, which other pianists tend to miss, or are afraid to bring out to the same degree. Personally, I'd consider Pires to be one of the finest Schubert pianists of the digital era (on both Erato & DG):

    Pires, 8 Impromptus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yVZu05WZ9o
    Pires, Moments Musicaux:
    No. 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=corOqDRunBo
    No. 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_mYIhwfUoU
    Pires: D.845: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QYZifNLytI
    Pires: D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spKd2kpnvY0
    Pires, Fantasia, D. 940, with Castro:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzOtB6fJhiw, and Sermet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcmv...&start_radio=1

    3. Radu Lupu--8 Impromptus (included in the Lupu box set), Fantasia in C, four hands, D. 946 (with Murray Perahia), etc.:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUaW0wl6htc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qklN2euqEnQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79LnvWuVKE4

    4. Sviatoslav Richter--Richter is arguably at his best in Schubert's late Piano Sonatas, especially D. 958 & 960. I've most liked his early 1970s Eurodisc/Olympia recordings, but the others are excellent, too (if with a more variable sound quality). In addition, the Wanderer Fantasy that Richter recorded for EMI is considered one of his 'classic' recordings:

    Richter, D. 958 (Eurodisc--1972, Salzburg):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoZRKkpWA5g
    Richter, D. 960 (Eurodisc--1972, Salzburg): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lncNcNtGkJY
    Richter, D. 894, D. 575, D. 840 (on Philips): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA-RtFKBnEQ
    Richter, D. 760 "Wanderer Fantasy": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJQQ0fPemaE

    There's an interesting interview with Glenn Gould in the Richter "Enigma" documentary film, where he talks about how he didn't especially like Schubert's piano music--due to it annoying "repetitive structures" that made him "squirm"!, until one day he heard Richter play Schubert's last Piano Sonata, D. 960 in recital, and to his great surprise, found himself in a "hypnotic trance": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1iUdM5k5Hc. I had a similar experience when I first listened to Richter's Eurodisc LP of this sonata--as I found the music 'other worldly' and unforgettable.

    5. Lazar Berman--D. 960 (various). Berman was a very underrated Schubertian, IMO, and his D. 960 recordings are among the finest I've heard.

    Berman, D. 960:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j563TD47yzs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRpkXQA3fBk

    6. Edwin Fischer (historical): 8 Impromptus, 6 Moments Musicaux, Wanderer Fantasy, D. 760:

    Fischer, 8 Impromptus--this used to be considered one of the great Schubert recordings in the catalogue (along with Schnabel's recordings):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCzCrJLybKY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FXw...38D51C35144275
    Fischer, 6 Moments Musicaux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRFE...86184488381E28
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Impr...c&sr=1-1-fkmr1

    7. Artur Schnabel (historical): All of Schnabel's pioneering recordings (as he was an early champion of Schubert's piano music), which were formerly released on EMI References, and are now all boxed. I wouldn't want to be without Schnabel's D. 960, most particularly--as he's not as slow as the Russians, but he may be even more profound:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfYi...&start_radio=1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQLr...aF0vAgQXGS2rhZ
    Schnabel, D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grY7ds78XQE

    8. Vladimir Ashkenazy--the Wanderer Fantasy, D. 760, Piano Sonata in D major, D. 850, Piano Sonata in A major, D. 664, Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 784, & 12 Waltzes. IMO, Ashkenazy is an underrated Schubertian:

    This is one of the finest Schubert recordings made during the digital era, IMO: https://www.allmusic.com/album/schub...e-mw0001865966

    Ashkenazy, D. 850: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhFP...OEjQ_uX8ImmUOo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXSQZJVcD08
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aGgKuCrr_8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIq_jxqLrZA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydM6sBfsqwo

    9. Valery Afanassiev--his D. 960 (various--Denon, ECM, live 2013). Afanassiev's Schubert is more controversial, as he tends to slow down a lot in Schubert's final D. 960 Piano Sonata--which is typically Russian!--i.e., Richter, Yudina, etc., with the one exception being Vladimir Sofronitsky's D. 960 (among those I know); although with that said, Afanassiev is probably the very slowest Russian on record. Some find it revelatory, others not so much. I wasn't as entirely won over by Afanassiev's 6 Moments Musicaux, but I wouldn't call it an average recording, either. He's too interesting a musician, even when you don't agree with him. Plus, I'd say that Afanassiev's slower than usual interpretations are arguably more spellbinding in the concert hall, than they are on CD (which is possibly a general truth):

    Afanassiev, D. 960 (live, 2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1oNW4SnGWQ
    Afanassiev, D. 960 (studio, I believe ECM, but it could be the Denon recording, I'm not sure...): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYgIzn9lr8c

    10. Alfred Brendel--Fantasia in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940--his classic early Vox recording with pianist Evelyn Crochet. By the way, there is an earlier Schubert cycle that the young Brendel made for the Vox Turnabout label, which some collectors feel is the finest of his three surveys. However, IMO, the sound quality is more limited--so, unless it were to receive a better CD remastering some day, for now, I prefer Brendel's 1st Philips Schubert survey.

    Brendel & Crochet: Fantasia, D. 940: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BdGo_t-5E4

    11. Paul Badura-Skoda: he has recorded two Schubert cycles, for Arcana & RCA, but some of his individual recordings on Gramola & Genuin are well worth hearing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrhL...PMpRFd1RuwhaKg
    https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Wand...s=music&sr=1-2

    12. Ingrid Haebler--Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 845: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Q10MZNUwM, and D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nApOrjkGJMw, etc.

    13. Annie Fischer, Piano Sonata No. 21, D. 960: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PWf...&start_radio=1. Annie Fischer was remarkable in Schubert (and Schumann & Beethoven), but I'd generally recommend focusing on her studio recordings, as Fischer tended to make a lot of mistakes in her recitals, especially late in her career, and it could get ugly (& choppy). Yet, her interpretations are consistently penetrating and profound. Indeed, I recall once hearing Fischer in recital in NYC, and thinking that it was the finest Schumann playing I'd ever heard, and then she suddenly launched into a series of bad mistakes and missed notes, over which she repeatedly grimaced in a self-berating manner, and then she recovered, and returned to being incredible again. (Her Beethoven was like that too.)

    My 5 cents.

    P.S.--As is usual with my lengthier posts, the above 'overview' is intended to be explored over time, rather than all at once.
    Have you heard Aki Takahashi?

  9. #22
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chesapeake bay View Post
    I haven't heard that earlier work but he recorded D960 played on a a Graf forte piano, a Steinway and a Bosendorfer in 2012. Its interesting to listen to the difference the instrument makes, I really like the Bosendorfer.



    Just ordered this 2CD set with three takes on sonata 960, as mentioned above by CB three different era keyboards used with slightly different performance styles on each.....love Badura-Skoda and have this two schubert keyboard (piano & forte piano) boxsets now

    Also this thread "forced" me to buy his recent 20CD boxset which collects all his old recordings for Westminster label, a treasure chest of great recordings....

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jul-31-2019 at 05:19.

  10. #23
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    I 'll go for Brendel, twice and Christian Zacharias .
    I got the Zacharias EMI 5 CD set on sale for 6 or 7 dollars. They are great recordings and the piano sound is beautiful.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

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  12. #24
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    I watched a cool lecture on youtube that Christian Zacharias gave on Schubert, and the elements of his sound and style. Highly recommend. Should be pretty easily found. I think I just googled "Schubert lecture" one time.

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