Schubert’s Lovable Dances

Review by: Jed Distler


Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 9

Schubert was a veritable dancing machine who tossed off minuets, waltzes, gallops, and other such pieces in droves when he wasn’t otherwise busy with symphonies, sonatas, chamber works, and hundreds of songs. He usually grouped them in batches, although brief little stand-alone dances pop up now and then. Schubert’s disarming melodic gift always prevails, along with his usual quota of unexpected harmonic twists and turns. The best way to play Schubert dances is to find their lilting center and apply rubato discreetly, and to always, always sing.

In his second release devoted to Schubert dances, Daniel Lebhardt perfectly captures the spirit of these works. He imbues repeats with subtle variations of touch and emphasis, and manages to bind together detaché phrases like strings of pearls. Lebhardt’s crisp kick-stepping in certain D. 734 Ländler selections proves comparably stylish yet temperamentally different when heard alongside Michael Endres’ warmly “gemütlich” approach. On the basis of this disc and its predecessor, I hope that Lebhardt eventually works his way through all of the Schubert dances; in fact, I’ve already made shelf space for the remaining volumes. Lovable stuff!

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Recording Details:

Album Title: Ländler, Minuets & Écossaises
Reference Recording: This one; Endres (Capriccio)

    17 Ländler D. 366; Minuets in A major D. 334 & 277a; 3 Minuets D. 380; 2 Minuets D. 91; 16 Ländler & 2 Écossaises D. 734; Minuet in C-sharp minor D. 600; Trio in E major D. 610; Minuet in E major with 2 Trios D. 335
  • Daniel Lebhardt (piano)

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