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Solo Piano - Released April 12, 2019 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
For a truly great interpretation it’s not enough just to play a historical instrument, the playing also has to be up to scratch. This recording released by the world-renowned label ECM showcases a pianist of the highest calibre playing the wonderful Viennese Brodmann piano. András Schiff captures the convergence of thought and sound remarkably well and seldom before have we been given so much insight into Schubert’s innermost thoughts. The softness and the unmistakable legato that the pianist produces on this Viennese instrument give the Sonatas D. 958 and D. 959 an indescribable feeling of nostalgia. But Schubert’s inward revolt was growing and András Schiff leads us steadily to the edge of the abyss. The crystalline sounds of the Scherzo in the Sonata D. 959 are as enchanting as the sound of ancient harpists who were so often depicted by German Romantics. This exploration into sound is also marvellous in the Impromptus D. 899 and the 3 Klavierstücke D. 946 or “Three Piano Pieces”, which have a very expressive counterpoint that differ from the unfathomable depth of the sonatas. This album is a revelation into a whole new world of sound that is unveiled as András Schiff’s fingers touch the keys. Inspiring. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 28, 2009 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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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
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Classical - Released September 27, 2013 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
ECM New Series is better known for its documentation of contemporary works, but the music of the past sometimes receives coverage when artists bring a new perspective to it. The Diabelli Variations, Op. 120; the Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111; and the Six Bagatelles, Op. 126, are among the most original and intellectually stimulating works Ludwig van Beethoven composed for the piano, and the sophisticated interpretations of András Schiff are especially worthwhile for their insights into authentic performance practice and reception. Here, Schiff gives the listener options between a relatively modern sounding version of the Diabelli Variations and a period interpretation, without favoring one or the other. On the first CD he plays the Sonata and the Diabelli Variations on a Bechstein piano from 1921, though with minimal pedaling and a restrained execution that allows every inner voice and subtle dynamic to be appreciated. While this piano is not as hard or bright sounding as a modern Steinway, it is familiar to modern ears and most listeners will readily accept it. On the second CD, Schiff plays the Diabelli Variations, along with the Six Bagatelles, on a smaller sounding Franz Brodmann fortepiano, an original instrument from around 1820, Beethoven's time period. While it sometimes sounds tinnier, the fortepiano is in wonderful condition, and by Schiff's own testimony, it "sounds fresher, bolder, and infinitely more subtle." This side-by-side demonstration allows comparisons between the two instruments, and to consider other differences. One need not choose one recording over the other, but Schiff's exceptional performances would certainly inform such a decision, if one had to be made. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 25, 2016 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released September 9, 2003 | ECM New Series

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Classical - Released May 4, 2001 | ECM New Series

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
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Classical - Released November 25, 2016 | ECM New Series

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Classical - Released August 24, 2012 | ECM New Series

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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | ECM New Series

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Arnold Schoenberg called him "Brahms the Progressive". Whilst Johannes Brahms’s musical language and formal cosmos were deeply rooted in the past, by burrowing into the music of Bach and Beethoven he brought forth compositional fabrics of a tight-knit perfection that pointed far into the future. Yet, over years of continuously evolving interpretations, Brahms’s oeuvre has acquired an inappropriate heaviness more likely to conceal the fabric of his music than to unveil the subtle intricacies of its "developing variations", to quote Schoenberg’s term for his compositional method. András Schiff emphasizes precisely this point in his new recording of the two piano concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. These developments, need it be said, are also related to changing performance conditions and transformations in society. But it is not always easy to say where the causal chain began. What is certain is that the growth of a global audience for music – with a corresponding increase in volume levels, larger concert halls and ever more massive ensembles and sturdier instruments – has led to a distorted image of Brahms that cries out for correction. After all, as Schiff puts it, Brahms’s music is "transparent, sensitive, differentiated and nuanced in its dynamics". In order to bring this to light, however, we must recall the performance conditions of Brahms’s day and reconstruct them as best we can. The Meiningen Court Orchestra, one of Europe’s most progressive and highly acclaimed orchestras of the era, and Brahms’s personal favourite (he conducted it in the première of his Fourth Symphony in 1885), consisted at times of no more than 49 musicians with nine first violins. Moreover, the pianos he preferred, mainly built by the firms of Streicher, Bösendorfer and Blüthner, were more limpid in their sound, richer in overtones, and responded to a lighter touch. András Schiff already turned to period instruments on some of his earlier recordings for ECM’s New Series, including his two double albums with Schubert’s late piano works, for which he used a fortepiano built by Franz Brodmann in 1820. He had used the same instrument for his double album with Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, contrasting this version with a reading of the same work on a Bechstein grand of 1921. Now Sir András has chosen the conductor-less Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with its period instruments, for his recording of the two Brahms Concertos. And he plays an historic grand piano built by the Leipzig firm of Julius Blüthner in 1859. The result is nothing less than an attempt "to recreate and restore the works, to cleanse the music and to liberate it from the burden of the –often questionable- trademarks of performing tradition". At times the recordings take on the quality of chamber music, as is especially telling in the last two movements of the B-flat Major Concerto, Op. 83. The result is a performance that approaches the original character of the sound, revealing those layers of the works that emphasise the dialogue between soloist and orchestra – and dispelling the preconception that the Second Concerto is a "symphony with piano obbligato". © ECM New Series
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Classical - Released October 19, 2007 | Warner Classics International

As so many recording artists have these days, Hungarian pianist András Schiff has been through a huge number of record companies in his career. He started on Hungaroton in the late '70s, then was briefly on Denon in the early '80s. He was with Decca from the mid-'80s through the mid-'90s before moving to Teldec for late '90s. After that, he was without a contract until he signed with ECM -- and this list doesn't count Schiff's one-off recordings on Vox and Orfeo. This six-disc set on Warner Classics contains all Schiff's solo recordings for Teldec: his two discs of Haydn, his two discs of Schumann, his single disc combining variations by Handel, Brahms, and Reger, and his single disc containing all Smetana's Polkas for solo piano. As is always the case with Schiff's recordings, no matter who the composer is, the performances are uniformly superlative and interpretively consistent. Schiff is no chameleon: he always sounds just like himself. His tone is clear but warm and full; his technique is clean but never fussy or empty; his interpretations are generous but always tastefully reserved. It's true that his Schumann is more poetic than his Haydn, his Haydn more elegant than his Handel, his Handel more flamboyant than his Brahms, his Brahms more playful than his Reger, his Reger more severe than his Smetana, and his Smetana more melancholy than any other composer this side of Rachmaninov, but it's also true that Schiff always and everywhere sounds like his own sweet-tempered and reasonable self. Aside from the repertoire, the biggest difference between these recordings and earlier and later Schiff recordings is the recording philosophy of the label. Where Decca had Schiff sounding soft-grained and blended, Teldec has him sounding brighter and sharper. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released August 28, 2020 | ECM New Series

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Clarinetist Jörg Widmann and pianist András Schiff have performed together for some years, but this ECM release is their recording debut. The history of cooperation stands them in good stead, for these are the kinds of performances that require small adjustments on the part of both players as the music proceeds. Brahms' two late clarinet sonatas are taken in a relaxed way, with each musician giving the other room to bring out small details. This is ideal for these two sonatas, whose nostalgic quality is illusory. They are breathtakingly complex, with every turn of the melody, even every voicing of a chord, having deep structural implications, and for the listener, they have an uncanny quality of inviting one into rounds of analysis that will never end. One can be sure that the serialists pored over every note of these pieces, for Brahms is almost in their league. The bankable Schiff gets top billing in the graphics here, but it is Widmann who controls the flow of events, keeping the temperature moderate and avoiding any hint of a boil. Engineering is always ECM's forte, but the team outdoes itself this time in the Historical Riding Arena in Neumarkt, Bavaria, a venue beloved by European audiophile engineers. A wonderful album for late-night listening and deep contemplation. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1985 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1981 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released September 6, 1995 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released August 24, 2012 | ECM New Series

András Schiff recorded his first set of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier for London in the mid-1980s, but the passage of time, personal reflection, and improvements in digital recording have contributed to making his second recording of "The 48" a necessity, this time on ECM New Series. As eloquent as ever, and always meticulous in execution, Schiff plays the two books of preludes and fugues without use of the piano's pedals, so his touch and control are evident in every note and in the interplay of lines, which are cleanly separated. The transparent recording, which is de rigueur for ECM, is a great aid in conveying Schiff's scrupulous playing, so the music almost seems to exist in its own pristine, abstract realm, without the botherments of background noises or sounds of physical exertion. However, there is an ideal amount of resonance in the studio space that heightens the timbres of the piano without blurring the music, so Schiff doesn't perform in a vacuum. The earlier recordings garnered high praise from critics and Schiff's many admirers, so this exceptional presentation is sure to win him a new and well-deserved audience. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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András Schiff in the magazine