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This is Martin Helmchen’s first solo recital album on PentaTone. His recording of Mozart Concertos received excellent reviews and his ever increasing amount of concert performances are securing this talented young pianists reputation.
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 20 in A major, D. 959
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Rondo: Allegretto
Franz Schubert: 6 Moments musicaux, Op. 94, D. 780
No. 1 in C major: Moderato
No. 2 in A flat major: Andantino
No. 3 in F minor: Allegro moderato
No. 4 in C sharp minor: Moderato
No. 5 in F minor: Allegro vivace
No. 6 in A flat major: Allegretto
“This penultimate Sonata is Beethovenian in its ferocity yet uniquely Schubertian in its sense of desolation, most notably in the almost intolerable second movement. It is performed by Helmchen with a naturalness which does justice to both its subtleties and stark contrasts. The Moments musicaux may be thought to play themselves, but this account of them is equally compelling and fresh.”
“…such is the strength and poetic commitment of Helmchen's playing that he already makes comparison irrelevant. And if I was to single out one awe-inspiring moment it would be the Andantino from the Sonata, naturally paced, enviably poised and focused with a stealthy approach to the central elemental uproar that suggests a young pianist of rare maturity and vision.”
“Here is musical gold indeed. Martin Helmchen is a 27-year-old German pianist who won the Clara Haskil Competition in 2001 and whose playing in its mastery and unadorned quality has much in common with that great artist. Memorable recordings of Schubert's D959 Sonata and the six Moments musicaux are hardly thin on the ground yet such is the strength and poetic commitment of Helmchen's playing that he already makes comparison irrelevant. And if one was to single out one awe-inspiring moment it would be the Andantino from the Sonata, naturally paced, enviably poised and focused with a stealthy approach to the central elemental uproar that suggests a young pianist of rare maturity and vision. All possible longueur, too, in the finale is banished in playing that makes for heavenly rather than interminable length. Again, the last of the Moments musicaux, an epic in miniature, is given with an unforgettable inwardness and quite without recourse to sub-normal timing or false sophistication. Just occasionally you could say that Helmchen's tempi are insufficiently integrated with a tendency to relax into lyricism and accelerate into drama. But given his overall command this is little more than a spot on the sun. Pentatone's sound is both clear and natural.”
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