Schubert’s piano sonatas span his creative life, from the No.1 D157 of 1815 to the three great sonatas of 1828 D958, 959 and 960. Schubert’s sonatas are a world away from Beethoven’s dramatic statements, and from the overtly virtuosic sonatas of Hummel and Weber. They contain some of his most profound music, the world of song never being far away. Drawing out the ever present patina of sadness, even in what sounds like ‘happy’music is essential if the performer is to understand this music. Some of his best loved works are for solo piano, and the Impromptus D899 and D935 are miniature masterworks, full of passion, drama, reflection and above all supreme lyricism.
Recordings made by Denon in the 1990s
“How good, then, to be able to hail [Dalberto’s] spring-like imaginative vitality and spontaneity - not least in the main work, the D major Sonata of 1825. He conveys all the youthful eagerness of the opening Allegro
vivace with a stylish lightness and clarity. In the second movement, allowed a liquid, con moto flow, he opened my ears anew to its magical textural felicities and tonal contrasts. (In the) not fully completed F minor
Sonata - an arresting portrait of the 21year-old Schubert not yet wholly reconciled to the procrustean demands of sonata form while plainly overwhelmed by the drama of Beethoven's Appassionata. Here again
Dalberto draws delectable contrasts of colour from his instrument while constantly savouring the unpredictability that contributes so much to even the immature Schubert's genius.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.