Schubert
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saint.panda

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I couldn't find a thread dedicated to Schubert hence: What are everybody's favourite Schubert works and interpretations?

He hardly gets mentioned but although I'm merely on the verge of discovering this composer, there's a certain, almost naive beauty surrounding his works. Being a layman I can only say that his melodies are absolutely wonderful. Following a friend's recommendation, I bought his string quintet played by Heinrich Schiff and the Alban Berg Quartett - amazing! Same goes for his string trios and piano trios played by Beaux Arts Trio/Grumiaux Trio that is another CD which really fascinated me. His Forellen quintet was also very nice but I like the quintet in C major better. Then I also have Kleiber's interpretation of his unfinished 8th and Bohm's verison of his 5th (love the first and last movement!) that easily compete with the best of other symphonies for me. For example, I mainly bought the 5th because of Bohm's famous Beethoven 6 (great 1st and 4th movement, not really convinced of 5th movement) on the same CD but Schubert has been getting a lot more play time. My early exposure to Schubert was limited to playing his piano improptus, which didn't do it for me, nor did his vocal Lieder but as of late, Schubert's music has really struck a nerve of mine.

I also wonder why Schubert doesn't draw nearly as much as attention as some of his fellow composers, especially considering the, what I believe, relatively easy access to Schubert with all his lovely melodies and serene harmonies.

Any other works by Schubert that absolutely needs to be heard and owned (symphonies, concerti, chamber music, ...)?
 
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Shosta

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For me the 'best' works of Schubert are the lieders (songs). And if i have to select one of the cycles i choose without doubt the 'winterreise'. It's sooo hard to listen. The poems are full of pity, solitude and loss. And the piano remarks every accent, every state in the inner soul of the singer.
And i choose Fischer-Dieskau performances (with gerald Moore or Barenboim).
When I listen to the winterreise always my heart is touched and almost cry.
 
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Bill Ward

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Another Schuber enthusiast here, particularly the chamber works.

I was surprised recently to discover that the most frequently duplicated single composition in my collection is Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, which I have played on everything (?) except the arpeggione. My favorite performance of the Quintet in C is an ancient recording by the Weller Quartet on London. Bought it originally on vinyl and replaced it with the CD version. The vinyl was better.

BW
 
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Bunnyears

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So far I haven't heard anything i don't like by Schubert! He was amazingly extroverted and sociable in his compositions without being superficial. My favorite piece so far is probably his Sonata for Piano in B flat Major, D 960. I have perhaps 5 or 6 different interpretations including the Perahia late sonatas cd, Andsnes, Kempf (complete Schubert sonatas) and Sokolov. Of all of them, I think the Andsnes is the reference for the 960 and the Kempf is the best of the sonata collections.

I have the Florestan Trio doing the trios and need to fill in the set with one more cd. Btw, there are two Florestan Trios, one based in Washington state and the other, better known one British. If you are buying cds, be sure to check which one you are looking at!

For the Lieder, I have the complete set with Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau (mixture of cds and lps) accompanied by Gerald Moore, the Bostridge/Andsnes Winterreise and the pairings on the late sonatas (highly recommended).

for symphonies I have Harnoncourt, Vegh and miscellaneous others.
I have an unsatisfactory recording of Rosamunde (DG) that needs to be replaced with a better one. I'm looking for more symphony collections and individuals. I'm not crazy about the Vegh recording, for some reason unrelated to the music it just seems very dry.

I have the Emerson's Late Schubert quartets, Melos Quartet complete Schubert quartets, and the alban Berg doing the quintet in C (excellent too) and Melos doing the Trout. I also have the CBS great performances Trout with YoYo Ma on cello, it sounds wonderful but it's a bit glib. The quintets are really totally incredible works, because Schubert really emphasized the lower registers (Cello and piano), they have the most intensely warm and welcoming feeling.

I have one (unsatisfactory) recording of the piano Impromptus by Lambert Orkis (2 cds, one is fine the 2nd is just totally mediocre), and am desperately looking to replace that.

I have a recording of the masses in C and E flat (Sawallisch) and they are the happiest masses I have ever heard! Schubert's vocal compositions are definitely the greatest, so I am looking for more of his sacred musical works as well, though I will pass on Pavarotti's version of the Ave Maria (too histrionic).
 
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Shosta

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I have a recording of the masses in C and E flat (Sawallisch) and they are the happiest masses I have ever heard! Schubert's vocal compositions are definitely the greatest, so I am looking for more of his sacred musical works as well, though I will pass on Pavarotti's version of the Ave Maria (too histrionic).


I bought years ago a hummel mass and an small Schubert mass came in that cd. I was surprised because that mass was a small diamond. Very short and very happy.
It was Mass Nº 3 D.324 (op.141).

Besides the lieders i like the quartets (Alban Berg specially, you know me), Piano sonatas and his lively symphonies.
 
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Tyson

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I like his last 3 piano sonatas quite a bit. I used to like Pollini for all 3, but recently acquired Ricther doing 958 & 959. Richter pretty easily displaced Pollini, mainly because Richter understands the darker undercurrents of the music much better than anyone else I've heard.

For the last 4 string quartets the Quartetto Italiano is still my favorite.

For the last 2 symphonies there's a great disk of Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra that is really something.

For the Piano Trio's I'll second Bunny's rec of the Florestan Trio, outstandingly good.

For the Winteriese I like the recording of Andsnes and Bostridge, some may find it over the top, but I find it very compelling.
 
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Bunnyears

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Tyson,

When they performed the Winterreise in concert last Oct. (Carnegie Hall) they performed it differently from the recording so that now I have some difficulty with it. Andsnes was wonderful both times, but Bostridge clearly had changed his interpretation since the recording and did the crescendo at the end of the last song. This change was much for the better! Now whenever I listen to the cd, the ending leaves me feeling a bit deflated.

You should also try and get a copy of Kempf doing the late sonatas, that is also a gem. Perahia has an excellent cd as well, but it is a bit restrained. He really did not give as much emotion to the D960 as it needs. For that, Andsnes is the reference.
 
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Shosta

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For the sonatas I own some Leonskaja, Brendel, Zacharias and Richter.
Easily mi election goes to Richter (D960, D575, D566, D894)
 
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DarkAngel

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Schubert symphonies are definitely overshadowed by Beethoven's symphonies done close to same time and location........but these are great works and extremely enjoyable. There are not nearly as many recorded sets so choices are somewhat easier, I have quite a few so here is summary:

Complete symphony sets, 1st tier essential to own:
-Abbado/COE/DG
This is pretty easy first choice reference in both performance and sound, Abbado is in top form with lively sprung rythms and commanding performance of 9th. Still sells for full price so expensive, but probably best set Abbado has ever recorded.
-Wand/RCA
Recently remastered and reduced in price, this is great set and may eclipse his Beethoven set, nothing really to critque. Abbado has slight edge overall however.

2nd tier sets, worth owning but flawed
-Goodman/Nimbus (brilliant classics)
Now super budget price, very good buy but a notch below 1st tier sets.
-Harnoncourt/Teledec
A bit stiff and less flowing than best available, good sound however.
-Davis/RCA
A bit too polished overall, more spring/energy required in some works.

Other sets exist by Bohm, Marriner etc but I would give priority to 2 listed essential sets above.

Essential Schubert symphony CDs:
-Beecham/EMI GROTC 3,5,6 (reference for these works, the master at work)
-Bernstein/Sony 8,9 (highly romantic versions with firey passion, excellent)
-Szell/Sony 8,9 (excellent in all respects)
-Solti/VPO/Decca Legends 9 (demonstration class sound, towering performance yeilds to no one)
-Wand/BPO/RCA 8,9 (live performances that eclipse his versions in set)
-Karajan/BPO/EMI 8,9 (suprisingly powerful performances by HVK, ART remaster)
-Mackerras/Virgin Veritas 5,8,9 (reduced price all around winner for sure)
 
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DarkAngel

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BTW my examination of Schubert symphony inventory caused a purchase to be made, I decided I should also have this so ordered used:

Gardiner/VPO/DG 9

With the excellent Schumann/Archiv & Beethoven/Archiv symphony sets under his belt you know he will deliver the goods here.
 
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saint.panda

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Thanks a lot for these great suggestions. I just ordered Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra 8 & 9 (only 7€) and Beecham doing 3,5,6. I'll make sure to try out some Lieder and piano trios next time.

These classical music recommendations really get to the wallet
 
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Bunnyears

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Has anyone heard anything about the MacKerras Schubert Symphonies? He has recordings of the 5th and 6th (out of print and very expensive) and the 8&9 as well.


He also has a recording of Symphony No. 10 and Other Unfinished Symphonies
by Schubert.
 
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Mark from HFR

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Oh, those Schubert lieder! "An die Musik" is very possibly the only piece of music that can bring tears to my eyes no matter what mood I'm in, guaranteed.
 
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I am no Schubert fan, but I do like some of his late symphonies and some of his quartets. Listening to the Lindsays playing the opening Allegro of "Death and the Maiden" (Quartet No 14 D minor) for ASV (CDDCA 560) is both a reliable goosebumps generator and a stress test of your amp dynamics.
 
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Bunnyears

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I'd like to add another recommendation: Gaudier Ensemble for Schubert's Octet (Hyperion). I certainly prefer it to the Emerson Quartet's duet with themselves.
 
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