The performance of the Impromptus, D.899, heard here, confirms Curzon’s place as one of the great Schubert players of his generation. Indeed, the audience was so impressed that they couldn’t help applauding between each Impromptu. Not only does Curzon manage to play with a range of emotion, from limpid tenderness to controlled aggression, but his attention to the sound he produces from the piano never fails to impress.
Le soliste témoigne d'un naturel et d'une simplicité qui ne subvertissent jamais le texte, ne perdant jamais de vue l'arc tendu de la tragédie derrière le sourire (Sonate, D.960). Soucieux de la narration, de la qualité de la palette sonore, du dosage du timbre (Impromptu n°3), il délivre une exécution très construite, aérée, respectueuse de la notion du temps schubertien. On subodore derrière la poésie et la tension dramatique toute la générosité et le don de soi qui rapprochent Sodi Braide de l'insondable errance du Wanderer avec une émotion pudique toujours relayée par une pulsation qui semble couler de source. Une telle conception soutient sans cesse l'intérêt et apporte assurément une pierre supplémentaire à la connaissance de l'interprétation des ultimes opus de Schubert.
Franz Schubert (1797–1828) was an Austrian romantic composer and although he died at the age of 31, he was a prolific composer, having written some 600 lieder and nine symphonies.
…Such playing (though if I'm to be hyper-critical I don't care for some of the solo-violin playing), such excellent recording balance and, above all, such conducting, Karajan at his most relaxed and winning, making all the humorous and fantastic points in the score with such affection. - The Gramophone
The two DVDs last for 161 minutes. The picture is digitally remastered, the sound in PCM stereo and DTS 5.1 crisp and clear. The films are quite well done, utilizing concert footage as well as discrete studio closeups. Karajan's Brahms performances are exemplary and are most strongly recommended.
The recording of the Fourth Symphony is one of the finest ever made in Berlin's Jesus-Christus Kirche, the church's clear but spacious acoustic allowing the Berlin playing to be heard in all its multicoloured, multi-dimensional splendour… Richard Osborne; Gramophone
Krystian Zimerman - the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw at the age of eighteen – giving his Homage to Chopin and Schubert. As a brilliant musician, a renown specialist in Romantic music Krystian Zimerman combines all the prerequisites for an authorative interpretation of Chopin´s works.
Made after his official resignation from the Berlin Phil and six months before his death, this last recording is likely - at least in part - reflective of Karajan's mental tossing and turning before he died. We could gather that he felt quite wronged, and wanted to express forgiveness then to bid the world a farewell.