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Michael Endres Franz Schubert: Wandererfantasie and other works for piano OC 731 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberOC 731
Release date03/08/2009
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Schubert, Franz

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      Description hide

      Grazer Fantasie D 605A, Drei Klavierstücke D 946,
      13 Variationen D 576, Wandererfantasie D 760
      Michael Endres, Klavier

      Michael Endres is one of the “secret stars” in the piano world. Experts and lovers of music know and regard him as an exceptional pianist who regularly presents valuable interpretations of music characterised by his careful attention to detail and impeccable technique. Endres lends a unique profile to pieces from the classic piano repertoire and rare gems in the repertoire alike. This is reflected in his discography with OehmsClassics which includes works by Mozart, Schumann and Ravel as well as piano works by Carl Maria von Weber and a complete recording of Arnold Bax’s sonatas. On his new CD, he presents a series of works by Schubert that deviates a little from the usual selection and is crowned by one of the crucial pieces in Schubert’s oeuvre, the Wanderer Fantasy.

      Franz Schubert Piano Works

      Schubert probably composed the Grazer Fantasy in 1818. It was found in 1962 and published for the first time in 1971. The concept of a “Fantasy”, where the improvisational character is the dominant force was accomplished in an original way:

      From the dream-like beginning to a Weber style polonaise and virtuosic passage work it contains the whole range of musical improvisation. Schubert creates musical coherence by taking the opening phrase and using its rhythmic and melodic patterns throughout. The Grazer Fantasy is an important document of early Schubert and an interesting variation to the Wanderer Fantasy.

      The 3 Klavierstücke D 946 from 1828 belong to Schubert’s most important late piano works. It is possible that they were intended to be part of another set of Impromptus in addition to Opus 90 and Opus 142. Here Schubert combines formal simplicity with remote harmonies and very tightly constructed sections in contrast with expansive episodes where he finds his most personal voice. For example the second Klavierstück goes from threatening disquiet to a broadly proportioned third episode. Despite the many layers Schubert manages to maintain a highly natural quality reminiscent of Mozart’s late style.

      One of his least played works, the Variations in a-minor D 576 composed in 1815 uses a theme by Anselm Hüttenbrenner (1794–1848). It consists of a sequence, that is “theme without a theme”. It’s melancholy and harmonic progressions seem to have inspired Schubert explore different moods through rhythmic and melodic variations. He creates pockets of wonder in atmosphere and delicacy. The ease with which Schubert improvises on the theme shows the proximity to the Grazer Fantasy.

      The Fantasy Opus 15 is one of Schubert’s most eminent and daring compositions for piano. The element which permeates everything is the most Schubertian of all motives: the rhythmic pattern of a quarter note and two eighth notes. Somehow Schubert manages to cohere the seemingly opposing characters of “Fantasy” and persisting strict rhythmic structure. The harmonic progressions and their development are at the core of the fantasy. Everything is derived from the second movement which uses the theme from the song Der Wanderer D493 (1816). The heroic gesture, virtuosic style and the affirmation of C-major in the final movement belongs to a series of works like the great C‑major symphony and the fantasy for violin and piano. They raise a question about the supposition of Schubert as sole lyricist and Weltschmerz composer. His Opus 15 shows a restless and limitless energy which adds another facet to the image of the “eternal wanderer”.

      Michael Endres translation: Susan Higgs

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
        Fantasie in C (Grazer Fantasie) D 605A
        • 1.Moderato espressivo02:30
        • 2.Alla polacca04:56
        • 3.Moderato von espressione04:43
      • Three Piano Pieces op.posth. D 946
        • 4.1. Allegro assai11:15
        • 5.2. Allegretto11:45
        • 6.3. Allegro
      • 7.13 Variations on a Theme by Hüttenbrenner D 57612:04
      • Wandererfantasie op.15 D 760
        • 8.Allegro con fuoco06:00
        • 9.Adagio06:39
        • 10.Presto04:47
        • 11.Allegro03:37
      • Total:01:13:07