Pianist Shai Wosner peforms works by Schubert on his second recital album to be released by Onyx on October 11

09.21.11
Shai Wosner
Shuman Associates

Pianist Shai Wosner performs works by Franz Schubert on a new recording to be released by ONYX on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. For his second recital album, Mr. Wosner chose a program of the composer’s works that incorporate elements of folk music including Piano Sonata in C major, D. 840 and Piano Sonata in D major, D. 850, Six German Dances D. 820 and the little known Hungarian Melody D. 817.  This album follows Mr. Wosner’s critically acclaimed debut recording which juxtaposed works by Brahms and Schoenberg released by Onyx in October 2010.

Speaking about the program, Mr. Wosner remarked: “It is the combination of some of Schubert's most profound statements together with the ostensibly naive, folk-like tunes that for me makes these sonatas especially captivating.”  Mr. Wosner further explains in the recording’s liner notes that, not unlike other composers of his time, Schubert published numerous collections of folk dances such as the Six German Dances, D. 820.  However in his large scale works such as the piano sonatas included in this recording, folk idioms acquire special significance. In the unfinished Piano Sonata in C major, the folk-like element is heard in the second movement where a ländler tune is presented more like a distant memory of an idyllic existence as opposed to a simple folk dance. The virtuosic D major sonata was written during one of Schubert’s infrequent trips to the countryside and each of its movements includes a wide array of folk like gestures worked into the fabric of the music.

In a review of Mr. Wosner’s performance of Schubert’s Sonata in D major, D. 850 in September 2010, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Wosner gave a lively and sensitive account of the demanding Schubert sonata. The buoyant first movement shifts between bursts of fanfarelike themes and rippling passagework. Though he took a brisk tempo, his playing was lithe and articulate. The breathless energy of his conception was captivating... The second movement is marked Con Moto (With Motion), and Mr. Wosner played it that way: though he was always sensitive to passages of harmonic and expressive intensity, his ambling pace never allowed the poignancy to take over. He deftly dispatched the feisty scherzo and ended with a supple account of the dancing rondo, played with impressive lightness and clarity."

Mr. Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. He is known for imaginative programming that communicates his intellectual curiosity and for finding interesting connections within the repertoire he performs. He has performed as soloist with many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors, and has established close artistic associations that are renewed season after season. He has appeared with the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin, Vienna Philharmonic, among numerous others. He has also performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducting from the keyboard, and the St. Paul, Philadelphia and Orpheus Chamber Orchestras, and he toured as soloist with Daniel Barenboim’s West-East Divan Orchestra.  As a BBC New Generation Artist he appeared extensively with the BBC Orchestras and in solo recordings on Radio 3. He is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.

His upcoming engagements include recitals in London's Wigmore Hall and at LSO St. Luke's, concerto performances with the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and chamber music performances with the Parker Quartet in Amherst and with the Miró Quartet in Montreal. He will perform in recital with baritone Wolfgang Holzmair at the 92nd Street Y in New York in January 2012.  In May 2012, together with the Seattle Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwartz, he is scheduled to premiere "Along the Ravines", a new concerto by Michael Hersch written for him and commissioned by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.  

Shai Wosner, piano    
ONYX 4073

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Piano Sonata in C major, D. 840
1. I.  Moderato [17.05]
2. II. Andante [9.21]

Six German Dances, D. 820 [5.21]
3. I.     Tempo Giusto: A flat
   II.    A flat
   III.   A flat
   IV.   B flat
   V.    B flat
   VI.   B flat

4.Hungarian Melody, D. 817 [4:14]

Piano Sonata in D major, D. 850
5. I.   Allegro vivace    [9:01]
6. II.  Con moto    [12:41]
7. III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace    [8:42]
8. IV. Rondo: Allegro moderato    [9:43]