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After Sony’s gargantuan Gould DVD set (which I reviewed in issue 17, January/ February 2013), it is good to welcome this disc of rarities. The Ophelia-Lieder here represent a historic encounter between Schwarzkopf and Gould. The ear is continually drawn to Gould’s hypnotic playing; Schwarzkopf is an equally big personality, her voice instantly recognisable. However, at times it feels as if Schwarzkopf is merely there to facilitate Gould’s appearance rather than to act as soloist. These performances were recorded in 1966 yet not issued until 1980 – for good reason. Contrast the mutually exclusive approaches in the famous Morgen, released here for the first time: Gould is very free, while Schwarzkopf is far more time-bound. The Burleske is a typical Gould singalong on a Chickering grand; far more comfortable listening is the complete 1967 performance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Golschmann.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing