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Acclaimed Italian pianist Stefania Cafaro draws us into the intimate world of Schubert’s piano music with the Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 845 (1825) and the Piano Sonata in A major, D. 959 (1828). Stefania Cafaro, a student of Michele Campanella, has a particular affinity with Schubert’s music, which is especially precious to her. In calling this album Silence, she draws our attention to the sense of quiet solitude that inhabits these works; the significance of pauses within the music; and the contemplative, soul-baring nature of much of Schubert’s piano music. After his own performance of the slow movement of the A minor Sonata, Schubert wrote that “under my hands the keys became singing voices…”, and Cafaro echoes this description with her exquisitely lyrical playing. This singing sonority also pervades the Sonata D. 959, which dates from the very end of Schubert’s life. This is a work of infinite depth, as Robert Schumann wrote: “… as though there could be no ending, nor any embarrassment about what should come next, as the music ripples along songfully from page to page”. Yet alongside these voice-like qualities are textures of symphonic grandeur and Beethovenian drama, especially in the extraordinary Andantino, in which Schubert unleashes an existential soliloquy worthy of Hamlet: introspective musings are juxtaposed with angry outbursts so vivid that we never quite forget them, even during the bright and defiant final movement. In bringing together these two great Schubert sonatas, Stefania Cafaro, offers a fresh and deeply-felt interpretation of some of the most demanding and emotive music in the repertoire.


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