Vladimir Feltsman

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 5

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Continuing his cycle of Franz Schubert's piano sonatas with this fifth volume on Nimbus, Vladimir Feltsman presents works that date from 1817 and 1825, midway between Schubert's early maturity and his final masterpieces. In Schubert's best compositions, Feltsman detects a kind of lucidity that one might find in dreams, due to the composer's introspection and the music's extraordinary sense of timelessness. Schubert's pieces follow their own organic processes that are not especially goal-oriented, according to the conventions of Classical developmental forms, which may account for their ambiguity and fascinating juxtapositions. While the Sonatas, D 575, D 850, D 566, D 845, and the Fragment in F sharp minor, D 571 bear out Feltsman's perceptions of Schubert's interiority and stream of musical consciousness, listeners may find that the surprises result just as much from the sheer abundance of ideas and expressions that took shape and grew through Schubert's intuition and fertile imagination. As always, Feltsman's affinity for Schubert's music gives these performances a feeling of authenticity and emotional depth, and his controlled interpretations bring balance and coherence, where a lesser artist might offer only unpredictability and Romantic wildness. Highly recommended.

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