Andrea Lucchesini

Schubert: The Impromptus

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Andrea Lucchesini has a small discography that is dominated by a complete cycle of Beethoven's sonatas and the complete solo piano works of Luciano Berio. Here he returns to the early Romantic period, with the two sets of Impromptus by Schubert. There really isn't anything particularly revelatory about his reading of these popular pieces, but his touch and sound are worth noting. His touch is never forceful, leaving no suggestion whatsoever of stern martialness in the Impromptu Op. 90/1, nor anywhere else, but neither is it too light, so the runs in the Impromptu No. 2 and left-hand accompaniment in No. 3 are pleasantly rolling, as are any other similar passages. That touch, combined with a modest use of pedal, makes a nice, clean sound, with no sharp edges to the changes in dynamics when they contrast. In the first Impromptu his pacing seems careful, but in all the others, there is plenty of momentum without hurriedness. The variations of the Impromptu Op. 142/3, are well done: just enough drama and liveliness, which seems to carry on into the final Impromptu and through to its thrilling end. Lucchesini's recording isn't for those who like their Romantic theatrics, but it's a first-rate choice for someone who has just been introduced to these works and wants to understand the music before exploring more idiosyncratic interpretations.

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