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Pianist Imogen Cooper continues her critically acclaimed Schubert Live series with the third 2-CD release of the composer’s late piano music, recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
The highly respected and acclaimed pianist Imogen Cooper is enjoying something of a renaissance with her ongoing series of Schubert’s solo piano works on Avie. International accolades for the recordings abound, from NPR to the BBC, Gramophone to the New York Times. Imogen continues her exploration of the composer’s late piano music with Volume 3, recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December 2009.
Schubert was the ultimate romantic and Imogen brings out the full spectrum of his complex and colourful compositions, from the gentle German Dances, D790, and pearl-like Impromptus, D899, to the turbulent A minor Sonata, D 784, and mighty B flat Sonata, D960. Imogen says: “I’m not afraid of being described as a Schubert specialist,” even though her active repertoire ranges from Bach to Thomas Adès. “He has taken up a lot of my waking time for more than 30 years. In fact, you could say that his songs and his piano music have sometimes been close to an obsession for me.” It is more than 20 years since Cooper made a live and recorded survey of all the piano music Schubert composed from early 1823 until his death in 1828 at the age of 31. “One of the reasons I’ve taken it all up again is that I feel it ten times more strongly than I did 20 years ago: the message has become more direct to me. Schubert has become even more necessary to my well-being, and I sense strongly that he is important for an audience’s well-being too.”
“Cooper's sensitivity to the new light shed by remote keys is unfailing, and above all she tells the strange adventure of Schubert's most tormented A minor Sonata with unerring judgment. For this account alone, the latest instalment is indispensable.”
16th May 2010
“the poise of Cooper’s playing holds one breathless...Cooper’s sense of rightness of colour and her exquisite balancing of textures fully justify her reputation as one of the great Schubertians of our time.”
“Imogen Cooper...offers a near-perfect balance of head and heart in Schubert, her expressive technique and musical personality wholly in the service of the composer...I shall treasure this performance of the G flat Impromptu, a miracle of heartfelt cantabile playing that made my eyes burn.”
The Independent on Sunday
1st August 2010
“Cooper's articulation is precise, her tempi poised, the architecture clean, the colours cool to chilly. C minor brings out the best in her. The bittersweet Allegretto and blazing first Impromptu the most arresting works in a performance of clarity and integrity.”
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