Mitsuko Uchida is taking her time over her survey of Schubert's piano music for Philips, and each new issue offers performances that have been carefully pondered and are just as carefully delivered. Here, two of the best-known of the early sonatas are interleaved with sets of German dances, all played with Uchida's usual close attention to the fine detail of phrasing and rubato. She never imposes herself unnecessarily on the music, nor looks for depths that are not there. The A minor D537, the first piano sonata that Schubert completed, has a sense of grandeur about it, certainly, but no tragic passion, while the A major is a finely spun web of lyricism, a million miles away in its intimacy and spontaneity from the explosive sonata in the same key that he wrote at the end of his life. That is exactly how Uchida plays both of them here, everything perfectly in scale, emotionally and musically.
CD: Schubert, Piano Sonatas, Mitsuko Uchida