Even though Franz Schubert is among the most beloved of all composers, that doesn't mean that all of his works are equally well-known or firmly established in the repertoire. Schubert's symphonic, chamber, and vocal works are decidedly the most frequently performed and recorded, but his keyboard music has almost become an area of specialized interest for pianists and connoisseurs, and somewhat less widely played than the music of the great Romantic pianist composers, Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt. Inesa Sinkevych attempts to redress this imbalance with this 2012 album of various solo piano pieces, including the 12 German Dances, D. 790, the Hungarian Melody in B minor, D. 817, the Adagio in E major, D. 612, the Impromptu in F minor, Op. 142/4, and the late Sonata in A major, D. 959. The sonata has enjoyed the most popularity, and even though Sinkevych's performance is less a revelation than an affirmation of this piece's beauty and charm, it gives the program a sufficiently weighty last half to balance the shorter selections before it. In these tracks Sinkevych shows that even slight pieces have their value, and Schubert's have more than many. The style is Classical and unassuming, and the nuances of phrasing, the deceptive cadences, and unexpected key changes are fully Schubert's, but to the casual listener, the music often veers into unexpected places, sounding rather like Chopin avant la lettre. Sinkevych's refined playing and restrained use of rubato contribute to that illusion, and while her interpretations might be a little too free in expression, they add a Romantic coloration and tender expressions that are welcome.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Sonata in A major, D 959|