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Krystian Zimerman|Schubert : Piano Sonatas D 959 & 960

Schubert : Piano Sonatas D 959 & 960

Krystian Zimerman

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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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Schubert : Piano Sonatas D 959 & 960

Krystian Zimerman

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Piano Sonata No. 20 In A Major, D.959 (Franz Schubert)

1
I. Allegro
00:14:14

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
II. Andantino
00:07:36

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
00:04:52

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
IV. Rondo (Allegretto)
00:12:12

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Piano Sonata No. 21 In B Flat Major, D.960 (Franz Schubert)

5
I. Molto moderato
00:20:15

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
II. Andante sostenuto
00:10:33

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace con delicatezza)
00:04:10

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
IV. Allegro ma non troppo
00:08:14

Krystian Zimerman, Piano - Franz Schubert, Composer - (Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer)

℗ 2017 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album review

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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