Schubert - Complete works for Violin and Piano, Volume 1
Julia Fischer; Martin Helmchen
PentaTone PTC 5186 347
Julia Fischer is outstanding in this Super Audio CD. The three sonatas featured on this disc – D.384 in D, D.385 in A minor, and D.408 in G minor – date from 1816, but despite being early works they exhibit all the characteristics of the mature Schubert. The Rondo Brillant D.895 from 1826 completes the disc.
Despite the constant flow of irrepressible melody there is always a sense of wistfulness and drama lying just beneath the surface of Schubert’s music, and Fischer’s beautifully-judged performance captures this perfectly, with a beautiful clear tone, sensitive vibrato, and a fine range of dynamics. The recording balance is excellent, with clean and intelligent piano support from Martin Helmchen.
The booklet notes unfortunately scream “Translation!” at times – the Pseud’s Corner column in the old Private Eye magazine would have had a field day with lines like “In truth, renewed energy slumbers within the tangled web of the dialogue interwoven in the chamber music” – but the notes that matter are on the CD… and they’re just wonderful.
Volume 2 is slated for release in April 2010; as the remaining Schubert works for violin and piano aren’t sufficient to fill a CD, it will apparently feature Fischer in a Schubert piano duet. Shouldn’t be a problem - she performed the Grieg Piano Concerto in Frankfurt last year!