From Bach’s Goldberg to Beethoven’s Diabelli: Influence and Independence

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Once your ears have adjusted to the sonic possibilities of this Franz Brodmann fortepiano you will be astonished by the superb audio engineering of this recording, and Schiff's committed playing. Schiff is playing his Brodmann fortepiano from circa The critics agree with that choice and with how Schiff performs: "I cannot think of anyone of his caliber who has mastered the fortepiano as well as the modern piano and shown such distinction on both," wrote Stephen Plaistow in an Editor's Choice review in Gramophone.

Wisconsin Public Radio is airing the CD. Schiff again chooses to use a fortepiano made by Franz Brodmann in Vienna around It had once belonged to the last Austro-Hungarian emperor, Karl I, and had been very carefully renovated in the s. Schiff subsequently placed the instrument on loan in the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, but not before using it for a series of recordings and recitals.

There have been discs of late Beethoven — the Diabelli Variations and the Op Bagatelles — and, two years ago, a first pair of Schubert sonatas, in G major and B flat, D and D The latest set now completes Schiff's survey of the late sonatas with the C minor D and A major D, recorded in the Beethoven-Haus three years ago.

In the mid-two-thousands, when Schiff performed the full cycle of sonatas at Wigmore Hall, in London, each of his eight concerts was preceded by a separate lecture-recital, in which he explored and reflected on the works more deeply before his audience Wigmore Hall has since posted the lecture-recitals on its Web site.

As Schiff opened the first evening of his lectures, which covered sonatas one through four, he advised that, ideally, music should be experienced directly-not picked apart or overanalyzed.

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Murray Perahia and Daniel Barenboim, both in their seventies, are close contenders. Schiff is a man of integrity, both as an interpreter of music and as a quiet but staunch advocate for human rights, who holds grave fears for Europe. He has not set foot in his native Hungary since in protest at the authoritarian politics of "strong man" leader Viktor Orban, and has written against attempts to rehabilitate the nation's Nazi past. Schiff, 64, who is about to make only his second visit to Australia, believes his stature as one of the world's leading half-dozen pianists gives him a moral responsibility to speak out.

Imagine an actor playing Hamlet. Then imagine him also taking every other role in the play as well — from memory, without an interval, alone on stage in front of an audience of thousands. But if we fetishize the spectacle of the thing, the musical circus, we miss the point of this thoughtful, sober, even understated performance by Andras Schiff. More Brahms was on tap for the Tuesday recital, with the Op. The unusual angle struck me as something of a joke, since, really, there is little in the way of physical evidence pointing to what makes him such an unusual musician.

The magic, in fact, was more discernible if you averted your eyes altogether. Schiff, probably the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society's most starry name this season, brought a program similar to the one he plays Tuesday night in Carnegie Hall.

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations / Anatol Ugorski (1995 Movie Live)

The audience-friendly keyboard angle did allow him a measure of control over his listeners. Hands were suspended in the air after each piece, dropping for the next work after a nanosecond, preventing applause and creating two seamless program halves.

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To attend an Andras Schiff recital is to enter a secular temple to music. Above all, there is a hush, a solemnity to the proceedings. A preconcert admonition to refrain from coughing reminds us we are leaving the physical realm behind. Boxed together now, the ordering and even packaging of the original discs has been preserved, meaning, for example, that the E flat major Sonata Op 7 and the Waldstein Op 53 with its original slow movement, the Andante Favori, as an appendix each get a disc all to themselves.

Taken as a whole, the set is a bit uneven: there are mighty performances of the later sonatas that sweep all before them, and accounts of some of the earlier works that seem prissy and over-manicured, with moments when Schiff could have allowed the music to flow more naturally than it does.

But the collection now includes the encores that Schiff played at the original recitals. There are pieces by Bach, Mozart, Schubert including marvellously enigmatic performances of the late C minor Allegretto D and the first of the D Piano Pieces and Haydn the whole of the G minor Sonata , all perfectly fashioned and carefully matched to what had preceded them in each recital.

For those who collected the ECM sonata discs when they first came out, the encores have also been released separately; those who invest in the complete set won't have many disappointments either. Hungarian-born virtuoso British classical pianist and conductor Sir Andras Schiff is joining the Galilee Orchestra for the annual Christmas concert in Nazareth. The concert, replete with Christmas decorations, will take place December 19 at the Industrial Park at p.

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Other concerts of the winter season includes a recital of up and coming Israeli violinist Hisham Houri, as well as a festive concert with Missa Criolla performed by the Galilee Orchestra, conducted by Yishai Steckler and featuring mezzo-soprano Yonit Shaked Golan, the Collegium Singers and an ensemble of ethnic South American instruments. Last night's full house was rewarded with a typically imaginative programme.

The juxtaposition worked well, although it's hard to imagine children who could cope with the musical complexities. Schiff's Bach is an engaging blend of the cerebral and the dance-like, the left hand building up sturdy rhythms, the right weaving intricate patterns around them. He included the Goldberg Variations, perhaps the most celebrated set of theme and variations in the keyboard repertoire.

The works in the programme were all written for the harpsichord with two manuals, which are generally used as forte loud and piano soft manuals, whereas Bach's other solo keyboard works are for a single manual harpsichord.

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This makes the use of a large modern concert piano even more interesting musically, as the performer has more instructions from Bach on the choice of manual during the performance. In performance, Schiff presents a curious physical response to the music. When he pours up the tempo or dynamic after a diminution in either, he draws his whole body up from the keyboard and down on to the next chord with a characteristically precise but somehow graceless articulation of movement. He shapes the phrasing with jerks of his left leg, and sometimes attacks the sustaining pedal with the flat of his foot, not just the toe — none of which is a particularly attractive sight; but collectively they are at least illustrative of his total involvement in performance and they support such flawless execution and alert intelligence that, if I were Schiff I could happily live with them.

The programme was an extended entree of Haydn sonatas and Schubert's Moments Musicaux, with the meat course left until last — the Beethoven Appassionata, Opus The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival marks its 30th anniversary. After the downbeat on July 2, Germany's largest-scale classical music festival stages concerts until August Ten concerts are dedicated to Schiff - or rather, the year-old Austrian-British pianist of Hungarian heritage has set them up himself.

Schiff can be heard solo, in tandem with artists he chose himself and even with the Salzburg Puppet theater. The stars will also line up for the festival. Portuguese fado, Irish folk, chansons, music for winds and electronic beats accentuate the program of mostly classical music, concerts in total, for which , tickets are available. He goes back to that music regularly in his recitals but, never content to retread the same ground, he manages to find new approaches, new things to discover about such inexhaustible masterpieces.

His latest three Wigmore Hall recitals are devoted to the last three piano sonatas by each of the four composers. The whole extraordinary span of music was delivered without an interval, indeed, without the pianist even leaving the platform between works, so careful was he not to break the intense spell his playing created. If there is a spiritual content to music — music by itself, no lyrics, just abstract sound — then many listeners down through history have claimed to hear it in the final works of great composers.

Last Wednesday night Mr. Schiff carries a special brand of Old World charm and a clarity of articulation that especially opens up the sound world of the end of Beethoven's last sonata and the first movement of Schubert's last sonata. Both of these passages of music tend to impel many individual listeners to a contemplation of matters above and beyond. More than a few came to hear not just a star of the international circuit, but also a charming narrator whose Beethoven sonata lectures from Wigmore Hall have developed a global reach. There would be of course no commentary during the recital, but the audience knew exactly what interpretative style they would be getting.

Themed on the last sonatas of the great classics, the tour premise results in a challenge of putting either Beethoven or Schubert's last masterpiece into the before-the-intermission slot. But before there was time to worry about such things, a vintage Schiff take on Haydn's Hob.

On recording Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations...and dancing around the studio

XVI put minds at ease with minimal pedaling, crystal clear articulation, and impeccable phrasing. Subtle rubato in the first movement helped accentuate the voices.

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Its character is, for Kinderman, "pompous" and "mock-heroic". Just whom does this City imagine it is catering to with this invitation? Products of this store will be shipped directly from Hong Kong to your country. Fleisher, Justine H. Until now, that is. Products of this store will be shipped directly from the UK to your country.

Folks in the audience were smiling as if appreciating a witty repartee. A concert hall, a piano and a pair of hands: this was all that was needed for a musically fulsome afternoon with Hungarian pianist Sir Andras Schiff. Even before a note was played, conversations circled the audience recounting Schiff's past divinations.

This appearance marked his fourth performance at Koerner Hall, with a program made up entirely of final piano sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. It was Artur Schnabel who said that the best music is always better than its performance. As challenging as the music was, Schiff ensured it was well worth the effort. Yet that didn't stop more of us than ever from trying - perhaps enough of us to be called a crowd. Could that crowd, taken together, have some kind of collective wisdom? I tallied every "best of year" list I could find - a total of 36, comprising about writers. Also, the strings don't cross over each other as in a modern piano, so the low and high registers contrast more. Listen, e.

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Don't download lossy mp3s, by the way - you need to hear this one in excellent sound for it to work its magic. The second of Andras Schiff's three recitals devoted to the last piano sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert had poise and fluidity as well as an uncharacteristic caprice.

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Those who came to Orchestra Hall on Sunday afternoon for Schiff's thoughtful packaging of Viennese classics - penultimate sonatas all - heard it on two pianos, as he alternated between an Steinway and a contemporary Steinway concert grand. Schiff said he first did this a few weeks ago in Seattle and so liked the results that he decided to repeat the practice here.

It was achieved by the grace of Obi Manteufel, the piano restorer who drove more than six days to bring his antique to Chicago. It was not, however, a lesson on the order of Schiff's playing fortepianos from Beethoven's and Schubert's times.