Although the names of Franz Schubert and Dmitri Shostakovich, and the times they lived in, suggest diametrically opposing bodies of work, the piano duo GrauSchumacher find arguments in the keyboard that bring these key pieces by two great composers into a close and fruitful relationship.
The celebrated musical tandem made up of Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher returns to the Fundación BBVA-NEOS Collection with a volume that pairs two apparently dissimilar works ¬– in their format, to begin with; one a sonata and the other a symphony – which nonetheless share an eminently symphonic character. In the specialists’ opinion, Schubert’s ‘Sonata in C major D 812’, with the subtitle ‘Grand Duo’, is in fact a preliminary sketch, created in June 1824, containing the germs of a symphony that he would never write, because death took him at the young age of 31. The piece chosen from the opus of the Russian master is his ‘Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47’. Written in 1937, this work was Shostakovich’s response to the accusations of formalist decadence leveled at his opera ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’. A response in which the composer skillfully masked his expressive language behind the appearance of formal obeisance to the norms dictated by the Stalinist regime at its most repressive. Here the GrauSchumacher duo recoups the version for four-hand piano that Shostakovich himself performed.
Franz Schubert and Dmitri Shostakovich
GrauSchumacher piano duo
Sonata in C major, D 812 “Grand Duo” (37:15)
1. Allegro moderato (12:34)
2. Andante (10:13)
3. Scherzo and Trio (Allegro vivace) (05:11)
4. Finale (Allegro vivace) (09:17)
Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47 (2:35)
5. Moderato (14:59)
6. Allegretto (05:17)
7. Largo (11:36)
8. Allegro non troppo (10:43)
Total time: 79:55