- Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960
- Pieces (3) for piano (impromptus), D. 946
Schubert's last works for piano are rich in emotional content and in the way his writing suits the piano simply and yet, with sophistication. Oleg Marshev combines Schubert's last sonata, in "B flat major, D. 960," with the three "Klavierstücke, D. 946." Marshev has a consistent, rounded tone that works incredibly well at any dynamic level, so that those frequent passages of repeated chords never become too harsh and pounding, nor do they run together in a mushy paste. It allows him to concentrate on the melody lines and textures, demonstrating Schubert's complete understanding of the instrument. Marshev's emotional response to the Sonata is along similar lines. There isn't too much of the intense emoting or foreshadowing of death that is often heard in the opening Molto moderato. He lets the melodies speak for themselves. The second movement has a beautiful stillness that gives the impression of Marshev playing close to the keyboard and without any excessive energy, while the third movement has the weight of clouds. It's only in the fourth movement that his approach seems to be less than what the music demands, although he can't avoid all of its drama. The three "Klavierstücke," or Impromptus, are slightly more energetic, and again his tone softens the color and strength of their drama. The first and second pieces have a less than urgent building of excitement in their main themes, but still give a clear sense of anticipation. The outer sections of the final impromptu are the most animated and joyful in spirit of anything in the entire program, but its central section has the calm of the sonata's slow movement. Marshev may not fully explore all that these works have to say, but he does let them speak with a mellifluous voice.