SCHUBERT Works for Four Hands Vol 1

Author: 
Jed Distler
KTC1501. SCHUBERT Works for Four Hands Vol 1SCHUBERT Works for Four Hands Vol 1

SCHUBERT Works for Four Hands Vol 1

  • Duo, 'Lebensstürme'
  • Divertissement à la Hongroise
  • (3) Marches Militaires
  • German Dance (with 2 Trios and 2 Ländler)

Having recorded Schubert’s complete piano music on period instruments, Jan Vermeulen now launches a cycle dedicated to the composer’s abundant catalogue of piano duets, abetted by his former student Veerle Peeters. Their 1825 30 Tröndlin instrument has a basically gentle sonority that nevertheless conveys power and definition, as well as a wonderful muted quality in softer passages.

The disc commences with an energetic, forward-moving and beautifully thought-out reading of the Lebensstürme duo. The pianists’ sensitivity and stylistic surety masks the three-movement Divertissement à la hongroise’s rambling tendencies, while the instrument’s timbral distinctions particularly hit home, for example in the ‘semi-sustained’ pedal effects in the Andante’s cadenza-like episode or the way the long Allegretto’s tremolos vary in shape and expression, rather than rattle on like a silent-movie pianola. The duo wisely refrain from hurrying the first Marche militaire’s Allegro vivace, allowing the music to breathe without losing excitement. The second march takes on a welcome pomp and grandiosity that contrasts to the dead weight we often get from similarly slow performances, while the third transpires on a grand scale in the manner of an orchestral piece transcribed for piano duet. Here I especially like the elegant transitions between sections by way of the pianists’ slightly elongated up-beats.

By contrast, the closing Deutscher are all about Viennese charm and affection, and Vermeulen and Peeters lovingly demonstrate how to float Schubert’s disarming lyricism in seven blissful minutes. Vermeulen’s informative and well-written booklet-notes add value to a most desirable first instalment that augurs well for this cycle’s subsequent volumes.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018