One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Impromptus, D899, D935 (1827)
Amir Katz (piano)
rec. 27-28 February 2015, Funkhaus Nalepasstrasse Saal 1, Berlin, Germany
ORFEO C898151A [63:37]

Amir Katz is an Israeli pianist in his early forties. His recordings include Chopin’s Nocturnes, Ballades and Impromptus, and Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, with tenor Pavol Breslik. The song-cycle is especially relevant to this project, as Katz sees Schubert’s eight Impromptus as a “drama in eight stages”, almost a set of lieder without a singer. In his informative and provocative notes, Katz makes the point that the pieces in what we know as the second set (D935) were originally numbered 5-8, reinforcing the idea that Schubert conceived the impromptus as a continuous composition. Katz is a little vague on what story he believes Schubert to be telling. The narrative seems to be about journeys and fathers but you need not accept Katz’s perspective to enjoy what he does with this wonderful music.

Many great pianists have recorded these pieces. Katz belongs with the best. His playing is marked by clarity, with taut rhythms and rather controlled rubato and pedal. He avoids sentimentality and is thoughtful as to detail. His Schubert is very much a classicist, albeit one bursting with the ardent drama of early romanticism. Katz’s interpretation emphasizes the kinship of the Impromptus to the world of Schubert’s lieder, reminding the listener of such dramatic songs as “Der Zwerg” or “Der Doppelgänger”.

To compare Katz to some well-regarded Schubertians, his Impromptus are somewhat less lyrical than those of Maria-João Pires, but often more heroic. András Schiff’s recent fine fortepiano recording is softer-grained, and with fewer flashes of virtuosity. Listen to Katz’s exhilarating conclusion to the set at the end of D142 no. 4.

Orfeo provides rich and detailed sound for this disc, which is an exemplary piano recording.

This engaging and thoughtful recording sits comfortably along the finest versions of the Impromptus.

Richard Kraus



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger