One of the most grown-up review sites around

53,992 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)




Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Twelve German dances, Op. 171, D.790 (1823) [13:06]
Hungarian melody in B minor, D.817 (1824) [3:57]
Adagio in E major, D.612 (1818) [4:59]
Impromptu in F minor, Op. 142, no. 4 (1828) [7:40]
Sonata in A major, D. 959 [37:44]
Inesa Sinkevych (piano)
rec. November 2011, Joe Patrych studio, New York. DDD

Occasionally artists come along who play with a maturity that belies their age. Yehudi Menuhin was one example. His original recording of the Elgar concerto, which was made while he was still in his teens, shows an understanding that someone of his age could not be expected to have. I would put Inesa Sinkevych in the same category.
Sinkevych studied in her native Ukraine, Tel Aviv, Chicago and New York with pianists such as Alexander Volkov and Solomon Mikowsky. Judging from the cover photograph, she looks still to be in her twenties, but has found time for the usual competition awards and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music. Her choice of repertoire goes against the stereotype; one might expect a young pianist to be more interested in showing off her virtuoso chops with Rachmaninov and Liszt. In this case, however, one would be quite wrong, because this disc shows her to be a Schubertian of real distinction. The selection makes a well-planned recital, starting with the charming Twelve German dances, and ending with the great A major Sonata, D. 959.
Let me start with a cavil: some of the Twelve German dances, D. 790, had a bit too much rubato for my taste. These brief pieces are only about a minute in duration, and some feel a bit over-cooked. The Hungarian Melody, D. 817, made a great impression at one of Paul Lewis’ Schubert recitals in Melbourne last year. Sinkevych is steadier, and brings out the work’s quasi-Oriental character with her wide and attractive range of tone colours. The Adagio, D. 612, is an early, rather Mozartean piece showing the young Schubert’s skill at elaborating a melody. The Impromptu, Op. 142, No.4, is much more familiar. The trills are played with great clarity, and the long crescendo powerfully shaped; the return of the main melody brings a sense of a journey renewing itself. Sinkevych gives all these works a full-blooded treatment, with nothing tentative about her playing. She combines a crystalline tonal range in her right hand with quite a firm line in the left; the latter is always applied with restraint.
The main event is the Sonata which I felt was quite outstanding. This piece has perhaps the widest emotional compass of any of Schubert’s sonatas, by turns playful, vehement, bitter and radiant. Sinkevych really finds her range in this work; like Sviatoslav Richter, everything she does relates to the whole. Along with her wide tonal palette, she brings just the right combination of momentum and relaxation to Schubert’s long paragraphs. In this I feel she shades Paul Lewis, whose playing in this repertoire I find lacks expansiveness. The strength of her left hand pays dividends in the Andantino. This opens in a desolate mood which gives way to a towering central episode: a fit of cosmic rage that casts a shadow over the whole work. The genie is right out of the bottle here and Sinkevych does not short-change us on the work’s emotional depths. Schubert follows this devastating movement with a jaunty scherzo and an expansive sonata-rondo, both richly characterised.
The great Russian pianist Elisabeth Leonskaya is frequently illuminating in Schubert; her understated manner has great naturalness and humility. After Sinkevych, however, her D.959 seemed rather plain, and failed to hold my attention. As one would expect, Sinkevych’s technique is well up to all the demands that this sonata poses. What is more unusual - and more moving - is the sureness of her interpretation; she seems to be allowing the music to speak through her.
Inesa Sinkevych has issued this disc on her own label. Listeners who are reluctant to buy such releases will miss out on something really special. It contains extremely fine Schubert playing, and the piano sound is just as good, clear and with excellent colour and dynamic range. 

Guy Aron