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Acclaimed for his Naxos recordings of music by Chopin, Liszt, Dohnányi and Rachmaninov, Eldar Nebolsin here fulfils a heartfelt ambition to record important piano works by another great Romantic composer, Franz Schubert, for the label.
The passion and pathos of the two sonatas, with their song-like melodies and adventurous harmonies, set the scene for one of Schubert’s most powerful solo piano pieces, the Wanderer Fantasy, a work so technically demanding that Schubert himself is reported to have exclaimed ‘the devil may play it!’. Based on his popular song Der Wanderer, the Fantasy is virtually a four movement sonata in its own right and a path-breaking masterpiece of the piano literature.
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 4 in A minor, Op. 164, D. 537
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Allegretto quasi andantino
III. Allegro vivace
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 13 in A major, Op. 120, D. 664
I. Allegro moderato
Franz Schubert: Fantasy in C major, Op. 15, D. 760, "Wandererfantasie"
I. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo
22nd May 2011
“If you like your Schubert in high definition then this one's for you...Eldar Nebolsin here records Schubert for the first time, employing an alarmingly bold Technicolor Lisztian palette...He hurls himself at the piano in Sonata No 4 (producing a revelatory, pin-sharp staccato reading of the second movement along the way)...You wouldn't think he had anything left for the fiendish Wanderer Fantasy, but he was merely limbering up. Warn the neighbours.”
“Nebolsin's grasp of structure, simplicity of approach with clear, natural phrasing, and the song-like purity of the recorded sound make this a very special Schubert disc...This is an account [of the Wanderer] to rank with the masterly (elderly) recording by Solomon, and that is saying something. The 'Wanderer' Fantasy is among the most compelling and coherent versions of recent years.”
“He is undaunted by the immense demands of the Wanderer in a performance of considerable power that revels in the granite choral writing and culminates in a fugue of almost bludgeoning power.”
“Nebolsin makes things harder for himself by adopting a tempo that's on the steady side, but his performance is admirably restrained and eloquent. He gives a beautiful account of the more popular and lurical Sonata No. 13 in A major, too, producing playing of effortless warmth and musicianship....he is clearly a pianist to watch, and the two Sonatas are really impressive.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.