Julia Fischer & Martin Helmchen – Franz Schubert Complete Works for Violin & Piano (2014) DSF DSD64

Julia Fischer & Martin Helmchen – Franz Schubert Complete Works for Violin & Piano (2014)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz  | Time – 02:11:36 minutes | 5,2 GB | Genre: Classical
Source: ISO SACD | ©  Pentatone Music B.V.

Pentatone is combing two of its best-selling recordings, Franz Schubert: Complete Works for Violin and Piano Volume one and two to a double Super Audio-CD set. The recordings by these two brilliant German artists, Julia Fischer and Martin Helmchen — which were originally launched in in 2009 (Vol 1) and 2010 (Vol 2) — were remarkably successful from both a critical and a commercial standpoint. As it is the violin and piano works that constitute the essential enchantment, one can hardly imagine that somebody would be interested in one without wanting the other as well.

These performances, which were charmingly recorded in a warm acoustic space form, perfectly balanced conversations between two vibrant young personalities. As Pentatone once again collaborated with its trusted partner Polyhymnia International recording studio, with its outstanding reputation for the quality of its multi-channel surround sound recordings, it goes without saying that this album will be a delight to music aficionados’ ears.

As with any work by a composer who barely lived into his thirties, the Op. 137 Violin Sonatas (Sonatinas) of Franz Schubert are clearly early works. Written at the tender age of 19, however, these three sonatas are especially youthful even for Schubert. The opening movement of the D major Sonata is entirely Mozartian, and is forever compared to the K. 304 Sonata. Whether an homage or imitation, Schubert at once proves that he is capable of working in the strictly classical tradition before moving directly into the rest of Op. 137 with more trademark “Schubertian” characteristics. Performing these three sonatas on this PentaTone Classics SACD are violinist Julia Fischer and pianist Martin Helmchen. As her many previous successful albums have already demonstrated, Fischer is a force to be reckoned with. From the first note of the album, her Guadagnini violin sings forth with an impossibly pure, clear, beautiful tone that few can achieve. Her intonation is flawless throughout the disc, and her considerable technical skills back up her keen musical understanding of Schubert’s score and delivery of precisely what is on the page free from unnecessary and undesirable affectations. The collaboration with Helmchen is one of seamless understanding and fluidity. Helmchen’s touch is as sensitive and graceful as Fischer’s, and the two together produce an entirely beautiful soundscape filled with moving dynamics, precise articulation, and sublime balance. The disc concludes with the much later and considerably darker B minor Rondo, Op. 70, which contrasts nicely with the less intense Op. 137 Sonatas. PentaTone’s sound is spacious and inviting, and those listening in multichannel mode will enjoy the sensation of sitting right between Fischer and Helmchen. –AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell


Franz Schubert (1797–1828)

Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano in D major, D. 384 Op. 137, No. 1
1. I. Allegro molto 04:10
2. II. Andante 04:25
3. III. Allegro Vivace 04:00

Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano in A minor, D. 385. Op. 137, No. 2
4. I. Allegro moderato 06:48
5. II. Andante 07:29
6. III. Menuetto and Trio 02:13
7. IV. Allegro 04:36

Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano in G minor, D. 408 Op. 137, No. 3
8. I. Allegro giusto 04:06
9. II. Andante 04:43
10. III. Menuetto and Trio 02:28
11. IV. Allegro moderato 04:04

Rondo for Violin and Piano in B minor “Rondo Brillant”, D. 895 Op. 70
12. Andante – Allegro 14:28

Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major “Duo”, D. 574 Op. posth. 162
13. I. Allegro moderato 06:05
14. II. Scherzo and Trio 03:36
15. III. Andantino 03:53
16. IV. Allegro vivace 04:58

Fantasia for Violin and Piano in C major, D. 934 Op. posth. 159
17. I. Andante molto 03:32
18. II. Allegretto 05:20
19. III. Andantino 10:20
20. IV. Tempo primo – Allegro – Allegretto – Presto 02:48

Fantasia in F minor for Piano Duet, D. 940 op. 103
21. I. Allegro molto moderato 04:20
22. II. Largo 02:19
23. III. Allegro vivace 05:50
24. IV. Tempo I 05:08

Julia Fischer, violin, piano (D. 940)
Martin Helmchen, piano

Recorded: Valthermond, The Netherlands in January and July 2009




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