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1956 albums sorted by Bestsellers
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Solo Piano - Released September 8, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
With his 60th birthday approaching, the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman thought it was time “to find the courage for works such as these and the last Beethoven sonatas. I’ve played these pieces for 30 years, but always feared them tremendously because of my unbelievable respect for the composers. Perhaps I worried that if I left them any longer, it would be too late.” Zimerman has used a normal piano, but fitted with a keyboard made by himself, designed to create qualities Schubert would have known in his instruments. Compared to a modern grand piano, the hammer strikes a different point of the string, enhancing its ability to sustain a singing sound – though it does also set up different overtones and the piano might sound strangely tuned. Also, the action is lighter. On a modern grand piano the many repeated notes in Schubert could turn into Prokofiev. According to Zimmerman, these two last Sonatas contribute significantly to our view of Schubert’s greatness, as “he switches into a different gear, daring radically to use new ideas in harmony and polyphony. Compared to his earlier sonatas, they could almost be by another composer.” The album was recorded in January 2016.
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Chamber Music - Released May 18, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
Clocking in at a full hour, the Octet in F Major is one of the longest works in the chamber music repertoire. Ravaged by disease, Schubert took as his starting point, as expressly stipulated in the commission he received from the Steward of the Archduke Rodolphe, Beethoven's Septet in E-flat major Op. 20, whose fame greatly chagrined its writer. In Schubert's Octet there is a certain joie de vivre cut across, as ever with him, by occasional notes of desperation (the call of the horn in the first movement, the elegiac turns of the Adagio). In order to meet his patron's very precise specifications, he used the same instrumentation, with the addition of a second violin, and he took on the same order of movements and the same tonal pattern as the Beethovian model. But while Schubert poured his work into this mould so as to please his client, he wrote a very personal work which, by his own account, would lead him towards the great symphonic form which would appear rather later with his Symphony No. 9 in C major. Isabelle Faust and friends make you laugh and cry, moving in perfect unison from one emotion to another, never hesitating to lay this sublime music bare, without any recourse to affected vibrato or excessive expression. A performance that brings us close to the fragility of existence. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Quartets - Released March 2, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Lieder (German) - Released November 3, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Le Choix de France Musique - 4 étoiles de Classica
Matthias Goerne's 2014 release of Winterreise concludes his series of Franz Schubert's lieder on Harmonia Mundi. This is the third recording Goerne has made of the song cycle, following his 1997 album with Graham Johnson on Hyperion, and a live recording released in 2004 on Decca, where he was joined by Alfred Brendel in a recital at Wigmore Hall. Here, Goerne and his accompanist, Christoph Eschenbach, deliver a subtle version that is full of intense darkness. The gloom and despair of the wanderer is increasingly conveyed in Goerne's singing, so by the end of the journey, the feeling of exhaustion in Der Wegweiser (track 20) and Der Leiermann (track 24) brings the point of the cycle across. The recording is reasonably close to the performers and they have credible presence, which enhances the songs' deeply personal expression. This recording attests to the continuing popularity of Winterreise, and it is one of the best of several versions to be released in 2014.
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Classical - Released October 14, 2013 | ARTALINNA

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Quintets - Released November 3, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
It is not just a matter of showbiz that sees the names of Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniil Trifonov written in big letters on the cover of this CD (well... even bigger than Schubert's name, but let's let that lie): in fact, they play on all the pieces in the album, and in particular the famous Trout Quintet (wiith Hwayoon Lee on the viola, Roman Patkoló on the double bass and Maximilian Hornung on the cello), but also the movement of trio D 897, "Notturno" - whose name was added by an editor, whereas it appears that this was a movement originally written for the trio in B flat then set aside - and the two Lieder adapted for violin and piano respectively, by Jascha Heifetz and Mischa Elman. First among equals, Mutter leads proceedings with both energy and a delicate touch, and it's a safe bet that although this is only the latest in a long line of recordings of this quicksilver masterpiece by Schubert, it will soon find a prominent place in the discographic hall of fame. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released July 15, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - RTL d'Or - Victoire de la musique - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 19, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released March 17, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2012 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released November 2, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Founded in 2005, the Chiaroscuro Quartet brings together musicians from all the corners of Europe: the Russian Alina Ibragimova and the Spaniard Pablo Hernán Benedi on violins, the Swede Emilie Hörlund on the viola and France's Claire Thirion on the cello. From their very first performances Chiaroscuro have been hailed as "a trailblazer for the authentic performance of High Classical chamber music" by the very highbrow UK music magazine Gramophone, and "a shock to the ears of the best kind" by The Observer. Indeed, their performance of Schubert is compelling in its rhythmic freedom and its limitless palette of contrasts. It goes from the gentlest pianissimo to the most resounding full-bowed fortissimos by way of a thousand and one shades which are hardly ever heard in the performances of "classical" quartets. In their hands, the discourse of Death and the Maiden takes on a bitterness, a pure romanticism and even a level of modernity as they strip out the rather sepia-Vienna aspect which some traditional interpretations feature. As for the Ninth Quartet in G minor, it's one of the those Schubertian miracles written in his adolescence: coming to light in 1815 its discourse is indeed tragic, but lacking in the inconsolable depth of Death and the Maiden. However, this doesn’t make it any less of a masterpiece. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
The third album from Lucas Debargue with Sony Classical, this is a very original programme - the previous album offered a mixture of Bach, Beethoven and Medtner - which combines two Schubert sonatas (D.874, 1823, and D.664, 1819, respectively) and the ambitious Piano Sonata No. 2 (1910-11) from Szymanowksi, with post-Regerian momentum. Lucas Debargue, who sent shockwaves at the last Tchaikovsky competition, opens his new work with Sonata in A Minor, and gives it some truly tragic, wintry tones,  in the style of certain Russian pianists (Richter, Sofronitzky, etc.): a black and white keyboard, lit up by a recording effort that in no way dulls the harmonics. The cheeriest Sonata in A Major - which was a favourite of Wilhelm Kempff - has a similarly staid character, rather reserved. To be honest, this album seems to owe more than a little to Sviatoslav Richter. If Schubert was one of Richter's "obsessions", the Piano Sonata No. 2 from Szymanowksi was also at the heart of the Russian pianist's repertoire, who performed it several times in concert (e.g. at Parnassus, the concert for the centenary of Szymanowksi's birth on 26 November 1982 in Warsaw). A convulsive, tortured work, it is made up of two amply developed movements, which are very dark, dense and complex, including a theme and variations, crowned by a tremendous fugue. © TG/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 31, 2008 | harmonia mundi

As fine a set of Schubert's piano trios as has ever been recorded, this 2008 release by the Trio Wanderer is true both to the letter and the spirit of Schubert's scores. There's joy, strength, sentimentality, and exaltation in the French trio's performances, a sense of openness and wonder. As in earlier recordings of piano trios by Brahms and Saint-Saëns, the Trio Wanderer once again demonstrates its mastery of ensemble playing, but there is something special about the playing of the music of the composer from whose famous song the group took its name. It is, in a word, lyricism. One can almost hear voices singing in the legato lines of violinist Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian and cellist Raphaël Pidoux and in the rounded phrasing with discrete but judicious applications of the sustaining pedal of pianist Vincent Coq. While the Allegros do not lack for force and the fortes do not want for power, it is in the expressive Andantes and intimate pianissimos that the Trio Wanderer's performances take flight. Recorded in clear, close, and immediate sound, this disc demands to be heard by listeners interested in the repertoire or the composer.
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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released March 27, 2015 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Gramophone Editor's Choice
This double album represents a change of heart for pianist András Schiff, who once publicly ridiculed the idea of "playing Schubert sonatas on Graf fortepianos." He recounts his evolution and something of his philosophy in using a historical piano in an elegant booklet essay that some might find worth the price of admission. The same might be said of ECM's engineering here, which exceeds even its usual high standard and catches Schiff's whispered low notes with startling clarity. The recording was made in the chamber music room of the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, where Schiff's piano -- an 1820 Brodmann model from Vienna, once owned by the last Austro-Hungarian royal family, not a Graf -- usually resides. Those absolutely opposed to historical performance are likely to be repelled by Schiff's reading here, which spends a great deal of time at low decibel levels. But listen again: Schiff finds a great deal that's new in the music. The closing Piano Sonata in B flat major, D. 960, is perhaps the best of all, with the low trills that underpin the opening movement taking on subtle but vast expressive power. Schiff takes the slow movement at a fairly brisk clip and effectively turns it into a kind of nocturne in a way no one else has done. His muscular style is not submerged, but he adds to it a new expressive vocabulary that carries nothing of the somewhat reluctant tone players of modern instruments often bring to historical-instrument performances: Schiff has clearly thought these readings through, and felt them through. The shorter works on the album have as much weight as the two large sonatas. An extraordinary achievement.
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Lieder (German) - Released November 3, 2017 | Erato

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
“Nacht und Träume” takes its name from one of Schubert’s best-loved lieder, which is joined on the album by a further 10 of the composer’s songs. All performed in orchestral versions by such masters as Berlioz, Liszt, Brahms, Strauss, Webern, Britten and Schubert himself, they are complemented by three choral numbers and an orchestral interlude. The singers are rising stars – German mezzo-soprano Wiebke Lehmkuhl and French tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac – and Laurence Equilbey conducts two ensembles she founded: the Insula orchestra and the choir Accentus. © Warner Classics
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Lieder (German) - Released October 6, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Lieder (German) - Released June 15, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Timbre de platine - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2004 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

One can certainly understand why so many listeners respond to Mitsuko Uchida's Schubert playing. Her warm, clear tone; her light, strong touch; her supple, powerful technique; her intimate, emotional interpretations: all these things are undeniably attractive. In this set of recordings made from 1997 through 2002, Uchida plays Schubert's music with sensitivity and sympathy, letting his lines sing, his harmonies sound, his rhythms dance, and his forms shimmer. For listeners looking to hear the beautiful in Schubert, Uchida's performances are a clear first choice. One can also understand why other listeners might prefer other Schubert players. Artur Schnabel found more depth in his harmonies, Radu Lupu found more poetry in his lines, Maria-João Pires found more lyricism in his melodies, Stephen Kovacevich found more drama in his forms, Wilhelm Kempff found more grandeur in his structures, and, of course, Sviatoslav Richter found more of everything -- more depth, more poetry, more lyricism, more drama, and far more grandeur and profundity -- than any other pianist ever found in Schubert's music. For listeners familiar with Schnabel, Lupu, Pires, Kovacevich, Kempff, or especially Richter's Schubert, Uchida's Schubert may seem pretty at best. Philips' piano sound is as Philips' piano sound has always been: translucent and luminous.