Six months ago — oh, where has the time between fled to? — I very warmly recommended the first volume of Imogen Cooper’s new cycle of live recordings of the later Schubert piano music. The second volume has been out for a while, and is equally terrific.
The second CD ends with the four Impromptus D935, and her performances — it seems to me — more than stand comparison with Schnabel, Fischer, and Brendel’s earlier versions among the classic greats, not to mention Schiff, Uchida, Maria João Pires and the later Brendel among more recent recordings. There are so many heart-stopping moments. I loved Imogen Cooper’s earlier cycle, but now her playing has that perfect authority — while you are listening, you are entirely swept into her vision of the music, and you feel ‘this is how it must be played’. Wonderful.