Matthias Kirschnereit

Schubert: Wanderer Fantasie

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Schubert: Wanderer Fantasie Review

by James Manheim

Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy in C major, D. 760, represents an ingenious fusion of the fantasy idea (imaginatively developing a single motive) and four-movement sonata form. Either of these aspects can be emphasized, but in the reading by German pianist Matthias Kirschnereit there's no need to worry about the proper emphasis: he plays the Wanderer Fantasy, the Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 845, and the various small pieces included in the same style. Each work is treated as a manifestation of Schubert's prolific and essentially improvisatory genius, which could produce music almost faster than it could be set down on a page. It's a somewhat difficult approach to master, and even more difficult to sustain, but Kirschnereit does both in precise yet flowing interpretations that never lose control or focus. In this version of the Sonata in A minor and the Wanderer Fantasy, the big tunes that for many listeners are the primary reason to listen to Schubert go by quickly as small details in the flow of inspiration, followed by an unusual harmonic twist or decorative figure. Accordingly, this might not be a recording to everyone's taste, but for the serious Schubert listener it's an impressive find. Fine engineering on the part of Berlin Classics from the studios of Bavarian Radio is another plus.

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