Schubert piano duets


Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Hyperion Records CDA67665


From the opening thunderclap of the 'Lebensstürme' it is clear that great things are in store. As furiously impassioned a movement as Schubert ever wrote, the piece poses some of the thorniest ensemble challenges to be found among the duet works … Lewis and Osborne meet these demands with one heart and one mind and doing so, moreover, with an audacity that doesn't sacrifice a single degree of the work's molten intensity … No one with a taste for superlative, passionately committed music-making, ensemble of the highest calibre or some of Schubert's most beautiful musc can afford to miss this one.
— International Record Review

... a stunning set of performances of Schubert’s great piano duets. Obviously the awesome Fantasie in F minor tops the bill, but what treasures there are on this disc, with a fiery, dramatic A minor Allegro whose robust structure and devastatingly beautiful second theme – along with the intriguing interplay between the two pianists and quintessential Schubertian harmonic colouring – shout the word “masterpiece” in every bar. And there are little-known gems, including, of all things, a very measured Fugue, an Andante Varie (a work of wonderful poise, lightness and grace) and a gorgeous Rondo with a breathtaking coda that floats away on a trill. Osborne and Lewis take turn about on upper and lower parts. What a superlative album from two great pianists and old friends.
— The Herald

For those who were fortunate enough to be there, and just as importantly for those who missed it, this disc captures all the exuberance, finesse and camaraderie with which Steven Osborne and Paul Lewis gave their recital of Schubert duets at London’s Wigmore Hall in January. Shortly afterwards they went into the studios to record the same six works, and the result is a pure delight.... The F minor Fantasie enshrines some of Schubert’s most sublime ideas, but his range throughout embraces vigour, subtlety, daring, charm, delicacy and drama. Osborne and Lewis have full measure of its inventive scope on a disc of outstanding, enlivening musicianship.
— The Telegraph

In this repertoire Lewis and Osborne are as one, touch and tone indistinguishable from one another (they swap Primo and Secondo roles throughout, apparently, though it’s impossible to tell who is playing which in what), playing with a delicious fluency and obvious affection that is a joy to hear.
— Gramophone

This brilliantly planned programme is executed with poetry, drama and verve by two complementary pianists who clearly think as one in this sublime chamber music
— Guardian

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Allegro in A minor 'Lebensstürme' D947

Andantino varié in B minor D823

Fugue in E minor D952

Rondo in A major D951

Variations on an original theme in Ab major D813

Fantasie in F minor D940