In the Autumn 2001 Bulletin I gave a warm welcome to Volume 1 of this set of Piano Masterworks of Schubert. These offer a series of balanced recital programmes each culminating in one of the great last sonatas, preceded by smaller scale works. The pianist suggests that the listener might take an interval before the main work.
The two Scherzi are both delightful works, the first having a catchy tune like a waltz with the third beat of the accompaniment omitted. The Three Piano Pieces, D946 were unfinished, but completed for publication by Brahms, and to me are like a three movement sonata. The Sonata in A was the second of the three last sonatas written before Schubert died and is an undoubted masterpiece. The programme in the second disc was designed to demonstrate the propensity of Schubert to move form one key to another by a third above or below. It certainly makes a very satisfying programme. Schubert was obsessed by Waltzes and composed hundreds. The Twelve Valses Nobles is an interesting example with most being written in the grand manner. The Adagio in E is a short but interesting early work. The Moments Musicale (sic) is as deservedly well known set of minor masterpieces blended into a satisfying whole. The disc finishes with the first of the set of last sonatas which is a kind of homage to Beethoven who had recently died.
Anthony Goldstone is in my opinion an ideal interpreter of Schubert who always seems to be as one with the music, without false emphasis or exaggeration. The recording and presentation is first rate, with excellent notes written by the pianist. It is recommended without reservation.
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