Schubert for dark days

[Video recording no longer available.] Dark days. For consolation, inspiration, a reminder of better things, a great performance of Schubert’s G major Fantasy Sonata D894 by Pavel Kolesnikov at Wigmore Hall a couple of weeks ago.

The first movement starts at 5.00; the remaining movements start at 1.17.00.

Kolesnikov’s full programme, as if a musical evening with Proust, is very worth listening to; but the Schubert is stupendous. Here is Frances Wilson on her fine blog: 

Kolesnikov … launched into the serene first movement of Schubert’s ‘Fantasy’ Sonata, D894, a mesmerizingly spacious account so carefully, subtly nuanced that as each new subject was introduced it took on a special character of its own, as if one was opening a little secret door into another room, another world where we glimpsed, momentarily, people dancing a gentle waltz, unaware they were being observed, or overheard the delicate tinkling sounds of a music box…..Kolesnikov flexes tempos, applies stringendo, pulls back again, allowing the music to ebb and flow, creating an extraordinary sense of time suspended, yet never once sounding contrived nor insincere; this was coupled with a powerful intimacy, as if we had exchanged the Wigmore Hall for an elegant Parisian salon. For a composer for whom pauses and silences are so meaningful, this for me was some of the most sensitive Schubert playing I have ever encountered.

That seems exactly right.

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