Album: Franz Schubert, Impromptus 142/Sonate 78 – Staier, (Harmonia Mundi)

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The Independent Culture

More than 20 years after Melvyn Tan's revolutionary EMI recording, fortepianist Andreas Staier's performance has a confidence and clarity that make the modern grand piano sound clumsy.

The sonority of Christopher Clarke's 1996 reproduction of an 1827 Graf is enchanting: weighty enough for the C minor "Impromptu", transparent enough to recall Schubert's babbling brooks in the B flat "Theme and Variations". Staier's tempi are well judged, his cadences beautifully sculpted.

Pick of the album: The wistful reverie of the 'Menuetto – Allegro moderato'