Imogen Cooper


Schubert Live: Volume 1

Composed by Franz Schubert

Performed by Imogen Cooper

Avie / AV2156 / Recorded at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Imogen Cooper's live Schubert takes its deserved place alongside the greats. Free from the confines of the studio, Cooper rises to the occasion with performances that show a courageous advance on her already distinguished work. This is true, most strikingly, in the great penultimate A major Sonata, D959. The catalogue may be filled to the brim with outstanding discs of this epic work yet few more deeply charged or felt performances now exist on record.

Gramophone, September 2009

Her feeling for Schubert's lyrical lines is deeply rooted throughout the disc...The Klavierstucke combine freshness and spontaneity with an assured sense of ordered structure, the various sections seamlessly knitted together and the moods sensitively contrasted. The Ecossaises are done with infectious spirit, a rhythmic verve allied to a magical range of touch and timbre. It is that very spectrum of colour and the discretion with which it is applied that contribute to the absorbing impact of this two-CD set.

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, April 2009

Her profound understanding of the nature of Schubert's music is wonderfully conveyed...performances of the highest order... not to be missed.

Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, July/August 2009

This ability to balance opposites perfectly, to project a knowing innocence (the second piece) and to set a gentle Ländler against elemental energy (the final piece) is what makes Cooper’s version special.

International Piano, July 2009

Over the years, Imogen Cooper has shown herself to be one of the interpretative élite and on this new issue she reinforces her standing as one of the finest Schubertians in the world. The fanciful Écossaises are shaped with the utmost artistry and the Drei Klavierstücke are given with an almost Chopinesque sense of individual oneness. This is superb pianism by a very fine artist…her profound understanding of the nature of Schubert¹s solo piano music is wonderfully conveyed to us here in performances of the highest order

International Record Review, July 2009

Her rare ability to project the architecture of a large piece and her sensitivity to Schubert’s melodic genius draw us into the heart of these great compositions. This two-disc set is full of playing in which the beauty of tone is paramount.

The Melbourne Age, May 2009

These discs are played by Imogen Cooper with the combination of poetic insight and magisterial grasp of structure that makes her such a great artist. The subtleties in her phrasing seem to be natural emanations of a total rapport with this composer’s music.

The Sunday Telegraph, May 2009

The intervening years have seen a deepening understanding of this wonderful repertoire. The range of colour, the subtle details, the singing line, the freedom of tempo within the driving momentum, the haunting and haunted beauty, are greater than ever.

The Sunday Times, May 2009