WORKS: Impromptus, D899 & D935; 12 Waltzes, D145
PERFORMER: John O’Conor (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD-80337 DDD
The Irish pianist John O’Conor made his mark by recording the complete piano concertos of his fellow countryman John Field; he has also recorded Beethoven piano sonatas and Mozart concertos. His interpretations of Schubert’s very popular Impromptus are simple, gentle and understated. Although most of the music is technically modest, which makes it popular with amateurs, it is also very effective in exposing weaknesses in a pianist’s development, and O’Conor’s touch isn’t always ideally even. While a limited range of volume is acceptable as part of his conception of the music on a domestic scale, his small expressive response to the variations of the third Impromptu in the second set makes for dull listening. The recording is thin and muffled, so this issue can hardly bear comparison with the likes of András Schiff and Andrei Gavrilov.