ARTUR SCHNABEL (1882-1951) Complete Vocal Works. Sara Couden, Jenny Lin

Catalogue Number: 11Y024

Label: Steinway & Sons

Reference: STNS30208

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: Schnabel is regarded as one of the most important pianists of the 20th century, particularly for his role in re-popularizing Beethoven’s piano music. From the age of seven, Schnabel was encouraged to become a professional musician. However, he had another, more secret passion for composing. Through composing, Schnabel was able to challenge himself and push the boundaries of music, which he detailed in a letter to his wife: “Manuscript paper is the only place where I am completely free. My space. With me as the master. I decide where to expand or set boundaries. I alone reap the fruits.” Schnabel married German contralto Therese Behr in 1905, who he previously had a working relationship with as her young accompanist. “Everyone knows Schnabel as a pianist; this is about Schnabel the composer, who really had a talent,” Lin said. “Also Schnabel the husband, who wrote these songs for his wife, and Schnabel the chamber-music performer, who was so sensitive with all these things.” Schnabel’s complete collection includes three symphonies, five string quartets, a piano concerto, chamber works, and over 30 pieces for solo keyboard, the last of which Lin recorded in 2019. Listeners can enjoy a variety of styles on the new album, from conventional elements of romanticism to deeply personal pieces. The range of styles included in Schnabel’s works surprised Couden. "The thing I responded to most strongly about the songs was how delicate and true and inspired Schnabel was with the texts, throughout the styles that he uses,” Couden said. “You can always hear that he’s putting together music around the meanings of the poems.”

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