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Andras Schiff plays Washington Performing Arts at Strathmore / DC Metro Theater Arts

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If there is a spiritual content to music – music by itself, no lyrics, just abstract sound – then many listeners down through history have claimed to hear it in the final works of great composers. The closest you're likely to come to discovering that for yourself is to hear pianist András Schiff play these compositions.

Last Wednesday night Mr. Schiff brought the final sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert to The Music Center at Strathmore. Mr. Schiff carries a special brand of Old World charm and a clarity of articulation that especially opens up the sound world of the end of Beethoven's last sonata and the first movement of Schubert's last sonata. Both of these passages of music tend to impel many individual listeners to a contemplation of matters above and beyond.

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