About Paul Lewis: Schubert Piano Sonatas 3

Sonata for Piano No 4 in A minor, D537

Sonata for Piano No 9 in B major, D575

Sonata for Piano No 18 in G major, D894

“Every now and again a recording comes along that makes you want to dance in the street … this is one of those instances.” In its review of Paul Lewis’s Schubert D894 sonata recording, Gramophone magazine marvelled at his confidence and sureness, his finesse and musicality. And it’s those qualities that mark Lewis out as an authority on Schubert’s piano music.

In this third recital of his survey, Paul Lewis brings his magic to three more sonatas. The first two are among six that Schubert started in 1817, a year after he’d given up a teaching post at his father’s school to become a freelance composer and was full of hope and expectation for his burgeoning career. The lilting drama of the A minor’s first movement and simplicity of the song-like second, written in March, give way to a more developed ‘Schubertian’ style in the lively D575, written in August. Contrast that with one of his most original sonatas, the much later D894. Robert Schumann, who did much to champion Schubert’s works after his death, called this sonata “the most perfect in form and substance”.

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