- Moments musicaux (6) for piano, D. 780 (Op. 94)
- Allegretto for piano in C minor, D. 915
- Impromptus (4) for piano, D. 899 (Op. 90)
- Untitled CD-ROM Track
The fact that David Fray is French rather than German or Austrian, and the fact that Schubert, whose "Moments Musicaux," "Allegretto in C minor," and first set of "Impromptus" Fray plays here, wasn't a composer at the dawn of his career but at the twilight of his life, may put this disc out of contention for some listeners because it challenges preconceptions about who can play Schubert, as well as just who Schubert was. There's no denying Fray has the effortless technique to play these pieces, though they are not the most difficult works in the repertoire. There's no question that his weighty textures, deliberate tempos, and autumnal tone seem more suited to Brahms than to Schubert. What makes Fray's Schubert convincing is neither his technique nor his tone, but the combination of the two, filtered through his acute sensibilities. Fray clearly believes that Schubert's late piano works reveal a composer obsessed with mortality (and Schubert had cause to be; he'd been diagnosed with syphilis only a few years earlier), and his melancholy interpretations support his beliefs. This approach may not appeal to everyone; listeners who hope for Perahia's sunny sparkle or Schiff's loving lyricism are not likely to appreciate it, but others may find Fray's "Moments Musicaux" and "Impromptus" enthralling. Virgin's digital sound is on the dark and heavy side, but it works for these performances.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
David Fray truly brings his unique sensibilities to Schubert. I picked up his previous Bach concerto release and was floored at his technique and virtuosity for being only 28 years old. For this release, I couldn't help but notice his innovative approach to the work. His interpretation is generous, enthusiastic and rich in contrasts. The fast movements appeal with their healthy energy, exuberant humor in their finales and lyricism throughout. No movements of tension stiffen David Fray's phrases and he gives free rein to the sound. Bravo, David!