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Forbes Review: Visiting Nazgûl - An Evening Of Late Schumann And Darker Schubert

...When I had to review a painstakingly lovely recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier some months ago, I searched for a foil. I found it in the darkly individualistic rendition of Dina Ugorskaja’s recent release – which ended up a Classical CD of the Week (Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier: Forget-Me-Nots And Intimations Of Mortality). So when I found out that Dina Ugorskaja played a recital in Munich’s Herkulessaal (substituting on short notice for Vardan Mamikonian; the pianist, not the saint), while I was in Bavaria’s capital – and with a tantalizing program of late Schumann and Scriabin at that – it was an easy and obvious decision to go and check out the recital the “Classics before 8PM” series.

After tantalizing late Schumann and sublime Scriabin, I thought of late Franz Schubert – namely the Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D 960 – as an extended encore… but not so! This turned out not only to be the longest piece on the program but also its emotional center. Dina Ugorskaja’s playing in general and in this first movement in particular, evokes and underscores a discomfiture among any listeners who think they know the work. No less here: Where there is a little oddity among the notes, it got explored with great curiosity. Where there’s a seldom noticed tension between lines, it got investigated. Amid such details, the pianist derailed Schubert’s sonata from conventions and re-established it as something fearsomely dark…

-> Review: Visiting Nazgûl - An Evening Of Late Schumann And Darker Schubert

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