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Mozart: Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos - Schubert: Fantasia, Andante & Variations (Expanded Edition)

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Customer Reviews

Transcendent Music, Perfectly Played

Schubert's F minor Fantasy is the greatest work for piano 4-hands. To my ears, indeed, it comes close to the summit of all music. The piece is beyond imagining. You cannot believe that there is music this beautiful until you actually hear it. Some say that listening to Mozart will make you smarter. Maybe so -- and that's great -- but listening to Schubert (and in particular the F minor Fantasy) will make you happier.

The F minor Fantasy has always drawn great artists to it and has been much and well recorded, by such duo pianists as Eschenbach-Frantz, Richter-Britten, Aebersold-Neiweem, Gilels (Emil)-Gilels (Elena), Levin-Bilson, Schnabel (Helen)-Schnabel (Karl), the Paratore brothers, the Pekinel sisters, and Brendel-Crochet, to name only a few. I own more than 30 recordings of the piece. Astonishingly, all are rewarding; many are sublime.

Even within this lofty group, the Lupu and Perahia recording stands out. Their playing combines clarity and rhythmic propulsion with a kind of dreamy relaxation. This may sound impossible, but Lupu and Perahia accomplish it with supple inflection and finely shaded dynamics in the musical lines, while maintaining rigorous metrical exactitude. The closing section (a combination of recapitulation and coda wrapped around a driving fugato) is perhaps the greatest 5 minutes of recorded music that I have heard. The tempi here are slower than in many other recordings. This is exactly what you want, because the overwhelming feeling you get from this music is wanting it to last forever. The perfect tempo is the slowest one that maintains strong forward movement. Lupu and Perahia achieve this effect, among many artful touches, with the lilting elasticity of their phrasing. Also, the sound is impeccable. I doubt the F minor Fantasy can be played better or recorded with greater fidelity.

It is worth noting that a different online music store sells the same recording of the entire F minor Fantasy (almost 20 minutes of music) as a single mp3 file for 99 cents. So buy it there, or buy it here, but buy it. If you buy it there, pound for pound it will be the best 99 cents you ever spent.

The rest of the album is superb as well, including an exemplary recording of Mozart's D major sonata for two pianos.

Poor recording

Unfortunately the recording is poor. The performance is wonderful. Apple should require better quality.


Born: April 19, 1947 in New York, NY

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the piano's most lyrical contemporary proponents, Murray Perahia was born in New York City. After first sitting down at the piano at the age of four, he entered Mannes College at 17, later graduating with degrees in conducting and composition. At the same time, Perahia spent his summers in Marlboro, Vermont, collaborating with musicians including Rudolf Serkin, Pablo Casals and the members of the Budapest Quartet; he also studied with Mieczyslaw Horszowski. Upon winning the Leeds International...
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Mozart: Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos - Schubert: Fantasia, Andante & Variations (Expanded Edition), Murray Perahia
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Sep 30, 2003

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