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  PentaTone Classics -
  PTC 5186 347
  Schubert: Complete Works for Violin and Piano Vol. 1 - Fischer, Helmchen
  Schubert: Violin Sonata in D major D.384, Violin Sonata in A minor D.385, Violin Sonata in G minor D.408, Rondo Brillant D.895

Julia Fischer (violin)
Martin Helmchen (piano)
Track listing:
  Classical - Chamber
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 2

Site review by Polly Nomial April 26, 2010
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by canonical September 27, 2009 (6 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
It is possible that one applies higher standards to those we have come to expect high standards from. And I certainly had high expectations for this release. Alas, I don't feel those expectations have been met in this instance.

The performances of the Schubert Sonatinas are generally crisp and clean and well articulated and musical. But there are a number of issues ...

First, the balance of the violin and piano seems out of kilter. The piano is sometimes far too dominant /// someone should have just closed the lid half-way ... . There is no such balance issue in the absolutely fabulous:

Mendelssohn: Piano Trios - Fischer, Gilad, Müller-Schott

with pianist Jonathan Gilad.

Second, Julia's violin sounds, in this recording, at times, oddly wispish. The violin sound on this SACD is somewhat peculiar .. it seems to lack substance, ... gut ... and yet at the same time, it has a huge soundstage ... The net effect is rather surreal and unnatural, and I am not convinced I like it at all. Again, this is completely at odds with the lovely sound of Julia in:

Bach: Sonatas & Partitas - Julia Fischer

or the Mendelssohn piano trios above.

Third, not only does Helmchen tend to overplay sonically, but he also seems to be sometimes trying to lead, if not push, rather than accompany, and the ensemble work is not always quite as together as it could (or should) be.

Fourth, the hall acoustic (Concertboerderij Valthermond in the Netherlands) is far too reverberant.

Fifth, as a smaller quibble, Julia's ornamentations are sometimes somewhat scrambled.

On my first listening, I found this SACD to be, at times, a little irritating ... rather less so on my second go.
[Review of Stereo SACD]

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Works: 4  

Franz Schubert - Rondo Brillant in B minor for Piano and Violin, D. 895
Franz Schubert - Violin Sonata in A minor, D. 385
Franz Schubert - Violin Sonata in D major, D. 384
Franz Schubert - Violin Sonata in G minor, D. 408