Classical CD Reviews

SCHUBERT: Piano Sonatas in C minor and in A; Impromptu in G flat, No. 3 – Inon Barnatan, p. – Avie

Young and spectacularly gifted, pianist Inon Barnatan plumbs the depths and scales the heights of two of Schubert's late piano sonatas.

Published on October 30, 2013

SCHUBERT: Piano Sonatas in C minor D958 and in A D959; Impromptu in G flat D899, No. 3 – Inon Barnatan, piano – Avie AV2283, 72:04 [Distr. by Allegro] *****:

Having heard Inon Barnatan in solo and chamber music ensemble, I believe that he is one of the best examples of the current crop of pianists and certainly one to watch in the future.

Possessed of a remarkably formidable technique, Barnatan also has insight beyond his years into the music he plays. There are drama, poetry, and humor in such Schubert works as these two sonatas on this exceptionally well recorded Avie disc. Barnatan played a Steinway when he was recorded in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City last fall.

Barnatan has already recorded Schubert’s final sonata (B flat D960) for Bridge Records (9197). Here he presents the other two sonatas that make up the final group of piano masterpieces. The Sonata in C minor D958 is intensely emotional and strongly influenced by Beethoven, but is typically Schubert. The Sonata in A D959 reflects in part a happier vision, but then it devolves into mystery and sorrow. Barnatan understands this music like few other pianists and provides a glimpse into the soul and the mind of Schubert during his end time.

The outstanding sound quality makes for a piano sound of great beauty. Barnatan leaves no stone unturned in these performances. As an encore, he plays the Schubert Impromtu in G flat D899, No. 3.

More Schubert from this pianist would be more than welcome. Highly recommended!

—Zan Furtwangler




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