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SCHUBERT: Complete Works for Violin and Piano; Fantasia in f minor for Piano Duet [TrackList follows] – Julia Fischer, violin and piano/ Martin Helmchen, p. – Pentatone

FRANZ SCHUBERT: Complete Works for Violin and Piano; Fantasia in f minor for Piano Duet, D. 940 [TrackList follows] – Julia Fischer, violin and piano/ Martin Helmchen, piano – Pentatone multichannel SACD PTC 5186 519, (2 discs), 2:11:35  (10/14/14) [Distr. Naxos] *****:

This reissue brings together two previously issued single discs by Fischer and Helmchen of music for violin and piano by Schubert plus a substantial filler: the Fantasia in F minor for Piano Duet, D. 940 with Fischer on the piano which turns out to be a more than pleasant surprise. Who knew she was as gifted on the piano as the violin?

German virtuoso violinist Fischer is one of those musicians who is capable beyond her young years (b. 1983). She adds a passionate level to the music she plays without distorting the composer’s intentions. With technique to burn, she has a mature insight into this early romantic repertory.

This set includes the following: Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano in D Major, D. 384 (Op. 137, No. 1); Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano in A Minor, D. 385 (Op. 137, No. 2); Sonata (Sonatina) for Violin and Piano in G Minor, D. 408 (Op. 137, No. 3); Rondo for Violin and Piano in B Minor “Rondo Brillant,” D. 895 (Op. 70); Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major “Duo,” D. 574 (Op. Post. 162) and Fantasia for Violin and Piano in C Major, D. 934 (Op. Post. 159). Both master musicians capture the outpourings of Schubert’s soul to perfection.

Helmchen proves to be an accomplished collaborator who follows the same line of musical thought as Fischer. Their performance of the piano duet Fantasia conveys Schubert’s native Viennese spirit.

Pentatone has provided the best possible surround and stereo sound. Booklet notes are in English and German. Highest possible recommendation!

—Zan Furtwangler

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