Schubert: Fantasy in F minor, D940; Variations on an Original Theme, D813; Rondo, D608; Polonaises, D824/3, 4 & 6

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Schubert
LABELS: Sheffield Lab
WORKS: Fantasy in F minor, D940; Variations on an Original Theme, D813; Rondo, D608; Polonaises, D824/3, 4 & 6
PERFORMER: Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Joan Rowland (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 10054-2-G ADD
The difference between this issue of Schubert duets by the Schnabel Duo and glossier versions by, say, Tal and Groethuysen (Sony) is summed up by the Schnabel’s performance of the D major Rondo, D608. Schnabel and Rowland play the second version of the Rondo (published with the subtitle ‘notre amitié est invariable’), and the prevailing gentle humanity of their general interpretative approach – exaggerated by cosily dry recording – touchingly reflects the essential qualities of friendship and domestic pleasure associated with this repertoire. Sadly, though, the F minor Fantasy is disappointing, with blurred detail, and an indulgently slow ‘second movement’. Nicholas Rast

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