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Leif Ove Andsnes and Ian Bostridge
SCHUBERT: PIANO SONATA IN D (D.850), NINE LIEDER
(EMI)
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Leif Ove Andsnes seizes the crashing chords that open Schubertís D-major Sonata by the scruff of the neck and goes on to provide as forthright and vigorous a performance as any on disc. This is one of Schubertís grandest and most symphonic piano works, one closer in spirit to the Wanderer Fantasy or the Grand Duo than to the four introspective sonatas that would follow on its heels. Andsnes summons reserves of energy and clarity that never falter. His playing is all strength and power in the first movement, but he brings a wonderful depth of tone to the rich textures of the second, paying especially close attention to the bass line. The scherzo is driving and assertive, the finale jovial and carefree, almost Haydnesque in its easygoing wit.

With this wonderful recording Andsnes consolidates his position as one of todayís pre-eminent interpreters of Schubert. As he did in his recording of the A-major (D.537) Sonata last year, he pairs the piano work with recordings of some lesser-known songs with tenor Ian Bostridge. "Auf der Brück" ("On the Bridge") is cut from the same cloth as the sonata ó bold and energetic, like the galloping horse Schubert portrays so aptly. "Tiefes Leid" ("Deep Sorrow") shares the bleakness of the song cycle Winterreise; "Der Wanderer" ("The Wanderer") and "Der liebliche Stern" ("The Lovely Star") have the sweet innocence that infuses so many of Schubertís nature-based songs. As always, Bostridge is marvelously responsive to the text, and Andsnes is an outstanding accompanist. Which makes this disc a magnificent bet all around.

BY DAVID WEININGER


Issue Date: October 31 - November 6, 2003
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