Arnold Steinhardt

Schubert: Complete Works for Violin & Piano

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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell

One cannot help hear the name of violinist Arnold Steinhardt and think immediately of his 40-plus year career as first violinist of Guarneri String Quartet. He's been an extremely active recording artist and concertizer on his own, as well as a prolific author. Despite his well-earned reputation as one of the preeminent chamber musicians of the century, this recording of the complete Schubert works for violin and piano falls a little short from what is generally expected from Steinhardt. The album does have many things going for it, most notably Steinhardt's consistently robust and powerful sound. Both Steinhardt and Lipkin offer magnificently musical and sensitive interpretations -- clean, graceful, and refined, with occasional well-placed dollops of rubato. The surprising blemish manifests itself in moments of questionable intonation. This is certainly not a pervasive problem, but with a performance otherwise so wonderfully executed, these sporadic tarnished moments become more and more difficult to ignore as the recording progresses. Fans of Steinhardt will nonetheless find this recording a welcome addition to their collections, but it simply is not one of his strongest recorded offerings.

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