Pinchas Zukerman / Marc Neikrug

Schubert: The Complete Works for Violin & Piano

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Following the examples laid out before him by Beethoven and Mozart, the then 19-year-old Schubert wrote his first three sonatas for violin and piano, works that would not be published during his lifetime. The same fate was to befall all of the composer's works for violin and piano save for the Rondeau Brillant in B minor. Since that time, Schubert's violin sonatas have entered the mainstream violin repertoire, but not with the same presence as those of Beethoven and Mozart. This Biddulph two-disc set is a reissue of recordings made in the early '90s by violinist Pinchas Zukerman and pianist Marc Neikrug. Like his complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas at about the same time, Zukerman's playing here is technically polished, musically straightforward, but also possessing a very bright, almost piercing timbre, particularly on the E string. This may be a deterrent for some listeners who prefer a more mellow tone on the violin's highest string. The set also curiously includes the D. 821 Sonata in A minor, written for the arpeggione, an instrument all but forgotten save for the existence of this sonata. Typically played nowadays by cellists, Zukerman performs it here on the viola, an instrument that affords him a much more pleasing, warm tone.

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