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Hartmann, a semi-finalist in the 2000 Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, delivers a decidedly mixed Schubert recital. There are positives here: in the D major, the rapid gestures show few signs of rushing and Hartmann avoids the Schubert music-box trap. Yet he only hints at the bittersweet quality of the harmonic twists of the Con moto. This is literal and uninvolving playing – at its worst, it is earthbound and stolid. Where there is drama (the finale of D850), it is short lived. If the Ländler, which provide an intermission between the twin pillars of D850 and D946, have some charm, they need more character; the late Klavierstücke are better, the first bearing a surprising intensity. The second fails to capture the essence of Schubert’s rocking figures, while the final offering boasts almost-but-not-quite serenity.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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