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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797 -1828)
"Sonatinas" (1816)
Sonata for Piano and Violin in D, D384, Op. Posth. 137 #1 [15.18]
Sonata for Piano and Violin in a, D385, Op. Posth. 137 #2 [26.25]
Sonata for Piano and Violin in g, D408, Op. Posth. 137 #3 [22.52]
David Grimal, violin; Valery Afanassiev, piano
Recorded at Espace de Projection l’IRCAM, Paris, France, 1 April 2003
Notes in English, Français, Deutsch. Photos of the artists.
ÆON AECD 0317 [65.60]

Comparison Recordings:
Johanna Martzy, Jean Antonietti, EMI LP
Michelle Auclaire, Genevieve Joy, Erato LP

These are "Beethovenian" performances, strong and angular, sometimes verging on the ponderous, at times fragile to the point of vaporous despair. Personally I prefer my Schubert with grace and lightness, slightly understated, but music as great as this can allow for — no, demands — a variety of approaches to reveal its many levels of beauty. Some will find this performance outrageous, intolerable; others will hail it as nobly powerful, the greatest ever done.

Did I say Beethovenian? I think I mean Mussorgskian. Do you see Schubert as cataloguing the 57 varieties of Slavic depression in the depths of a Moscow famine winter? Afanassiev apparently does, and he plays these sonatinas as written — "Sonatas for piano with violin accompaniment." The poor violinist flutters around like a hungry wailing bird, now following in snowy footsteps, despairing at getting anyone’s attention.

How adventuresome are you?

Paul Shoemaker



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