Barry Douglas – Schubert: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 4 (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:08:36 minutes | 1,02 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Chandos
Barry Douglas’s critically acclaimed series of Schubert’s piano works reaches its fourth installment.
For this recording, Douglas has chosen to present three piano sonatas from the middle of Schubert’s short life: No. 5 (D 537) and No. 11 (D 575), both composed in 1817, complemented with the Sonata No. 15 (D 664), composed just two years later.
The three sonatas all spring from a period when Schubert was experimenting with tonality, both in the sense of less usual keys (D 575 is in B major) and in terms of the relative keys of the movements, and of sections within movements.
Irrespective of this experimentation, Schubert’s incredible talent for melody and lyricism shines through each of the works, and is masterfully heightened in Douglas’s interpretations.
Like the previous three volumes in the series, the recording was made on a Steinway Model D in the Curtis Auditorium at the CIT Cork School of Music.
“The Chandos series of albums devoted to the solo piano music of Brahms, performed by Irish pianist Barry Douglas, here reaches its fourth volume. Douglas’ readings have been substantial and generally well received, and this group of pieces has the virtues of their predecessors in the series. Most notable is the structure of the program: Douglas plays Brahms’ smaller pieces not in their original opus-number groupings but as intermezzi between larger works. This makes sense on several different levels, one of them being that some of the short works here are indeed titled Intermezzi. It’s not at all clear that Brahms intended groups of short pieces to be plowed through from beginning to end. And, most important of all, the recital concept of Brahms’ time was oriented toward mixtures of weightier and smaller pieces. As in the earlier Douglas releases in the series, the pianist handles the mixture well. The overall dimensions are intimate, and the fervent, technically dense quality of the early Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1, comes through very nicely. Of course every note is in place in the two big variation sets that round out the program, but here some may miss a bit of hall-filling excitement. On balance this is a strong addition to Douglas’ series, although maybe not the one to start with for those just buying one. Among its virtues is the sound engineering from the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge; it’s ideally suited to both performer and concept.” (James Manheim, AMG)
1. Piano Sonata No. 9 in B Major, Op. Posth. 147, D. 575: I. Allegro ma non troppo (08:03)
2. Piano Sonata No. 9 in B Major, Op. Posth. 147, D. 575: II. Andante (06:18)
3. Piano Sonata No. 9 in B Major, Op. Posth. 147, D. 575: III. Scherzo. Allegretto (05:17)
4. Piano Sonata No. 9 in B Major, Op. Posth. 147, D. 575: IV. Allegro giusto (04:41)
5. Piano Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. Posth. 164, D. 537: I. Allegro ma non troppo (11:05)
6. Piano Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. Posth. 164, D. 537: II. Allegretto quasi andantino (08:14)
7. Piano Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. Posth. 164, D. 537: III. Allegro vivace (05:01)
8. Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. Posth. 120, D. 664: I. Allegro moderato (08:10)
9. Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. Posth. 120, D. 664: II. Andante (04:35)
10. Piano Sonata No. 13 in A Major, Op. Posth. 120, D. 664: III. Allegro (07:12)
Barry Douglas, piano