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Known mainly as a pianist, Artur Schnabel was also a composer. This twofer takes in two major works (the Piano Quintet and the Piano Sonata). The 54-minute Piano Quintet (1915/16) was only rediscovered in 2001. The musical language is akin to early Schoenberg. Textures are complex, but not overbearingly so. The music can suddenly sweep itself into an earlier Romanticism at times. The 22-minute slow movement is a journey in itself. The Piano Sonata (1923) lasts some 30 minutes, and is far more dissonant. Rhapsodic and powerful, this is another major piece. The remaining solo work, the Op 15 Klavierstücke, is lighter but still twilit. The remaining works are no less fascinating; the Lieder at times seem reminiscent of Wolf and are replete with subtle harmonic twists.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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