EPTA - Spring 2011 - Written by Malcolm Troup

Jerome Rose Plays Schubert - Live in Concert DVD

A latecomer for our Schubert Reviews but far too important not to include it as a Stop Press here. To do it the justice it demands would require the whole CD & DVD Column at a bound, especially when it comes to that jewel beyond price, Rose's account of the Bb major Sonata which seems to hover on the brink of eternity. How can he be at the same time the thundering virtuoso which we know him to be, the pastmaster of Liszt's Don Juan Fantasy, and the next moment in D.960 reduce and resign his forces to the trembling silence of fermatas before the world began? No wonder that it deserves to rank as the definitive, let alone finest, interpretation of the last four greatest of the Schubert Sonatas when it is by that doyen of American keyboard wizardry, Jerome Rose, who here subjugates his dancing fingers to the joyous Arcadian choreography of the Schubert G major but not without the grander and heaven-storming passion of the C minor that Schubert was just beginning to let loose. It is a different world, but no less miraculous (and the best part of the miracle is that the DVD allows you to see it and believe it!) than Rose's "last words" on Liszt, Brahms and Schumann in that impressive set of vintage readings which Rose has been laying down as a benchmark for future generations, so that the great tradition of Classic and Romantic piano music, of which Rose is a supremely pedigreed part, need never be lost, free from the passing whims of sensation-seeking musicologists and well-intentioned music editors who, in their zeal to perpetrate the Procrustean doctrine of "authenticity" have all but thrown out the baby (i.e. performance) with the bathwater. More details in our next!


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