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Schubert: Moments Musicaux

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Schubert: Moments Musicaux
Schubert: Moments Musicaux


Pianist Valery Afanassiev - renowned for his strikingly individual and deeply introspective interpretations of the music of Franz Schubert - has paired two often extrovert works by the composer: the set of six Moments Musicaux and the Sonata in D major, D850. Recorded in September 2010 at the Auditorio Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Lugano, this is ECM's second Schubert recording by the Moscow-born pianist.

Composed from 1823 to 1827, the year before the composer's premature death, the Moments Musicaux brim with song and dance, as well as Schubert's characteristic mood swings from major to minor, from light to dark. The Sonata D850, written in 1825, is one of Schubert's most ebullient piano sonatas - with yodelling-like melodies, simulated horn calls and strongly syncopated rhythms - but like so many works by this composer, there are passages with an air of nostalgia and emotional ambiguity.

Valery Afanassiev previously released on ECM New Series a live recording of Schubert's final Sonata (in B flat major, D. 960) performed at the 1986 Lockenhaus Festival that has become a connoisseur's favourite.

A pupil of Emil Gilels at the Moscow Conservatory, Afanassiev's international career took off after he won the 1972 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in Brussels. His recordings feature music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Mussorgsky and Chopin, as well as Schubert. His chamber music partners have included Gidon Kremer and Mischa Maisky. He also has a second career as a writer - of novels and plays - and has written intriguing liner notes for this album that mark him out as a renaissance man.

Personnel: Valery Afanassiev (piano)


  1. Name
  2. Six moments musicaux, D 780 (Op. 94), Moderato in C major
  3. Andantino in A-flat major
  4. Allegro moderato in F minor
  5. Moderato in C-sharp minor
  6. Allegro vivace in F minor
  7. Allegretto in A-flat major
  8. Sonata in D Major, D 850 (op. 53), Allegro vivace
  9. Con moto
  10. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
  11. Rondo: Allegro moderato
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