Schubert, Schumann: Fantasy in C, D760 (Wanderer)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Schubert,Schumann
LABELS: Decca Legends
WORKS: Fantasy in C, D760 (Wanderer)
PERFORMER: Clifford Curzon (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 466 498-2 ADD mono Reissue (1949, 1954)
Curzon’s 1949 recording of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy is the most satisfying I’ve encountered on disc. Curzon quite rightly views the work as Classically conceived, though shot through with a Romantic wildness which he contains with a rugged will. His steady tempo for the first movement is absolutely right. Schumann’s Fantasy is a less stiffly formal work, with outer movements that unfold like vistas as you travel through a landscape. Recorded in 1954, Curzon communicates a wonderful sense of progress, while relishing the scenery on the way, but in the triumphal middle movement he’s a bit on the cautious side. My choice for the most exciting and poetic Fantasy on CD would be Argerich’s. In Kinderszenen, Curzon is unsurpassable, because he treats these short pieces as the profound music they are, yet without straining their apparent simplicity. Adrian Jack