Schubert: Impromptus, Opp. 90 & 142
Ronald Brautigam performs some of Franz Schubert’s most profound and beloved works: the eight Impromptus. Schubert’s name has become closely associated with this genre, often characterized by a lyrical melody and a free-flowing structure, with a sense of spontaneity. With it, Schubert seems to have found an ideal setting for the expression of his genius. The Impromptus, D 899, are reminiscent of a four-movement sonata. The first begins theatrically, before giving way to a funeral march of sorts, in which the melody is harmonised, amplified and constantly renewed. In the second, everything appears light and fluid. In the third, Schubert offers us one of his most inspired songs with one of his most beautiful melodies. The fourth takes us back to the waterworks of a fairy-tale park. The Impromptus, D 935, were published after Schubert’s death. The first is a great rhapsodic poem in which expression reaches into the deepest recesses of the Schubertian soul. The second demonstrates how Schubert manages to rise high with simple material. The third impromptu is a series of variations on ‘Rosamunde’, one of the composer’s most famous themes. The fourth is a lightning-fast scherzando – a free and whimsical piece that ideally concludes this disc.