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Andras Schiff returns to Celebrity Series / The Boston Musical Intelligencer

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The sold-out Jordan Hall seemed to pulse with anticipation for Sir András Schiff's return to the Celebrity Series after two-and-a-half-year interval. More than a few came to hear not just a star of the international circuit, but also a charming narrator whose Beethoven sonata lectures from Wigmore Hall have developed a global reach. There would be of course no commentary during the recital, but the audience knew exactly what interpretative style they would be getting.

Themed on the last sonatas of the great classics, the tour premise results in a challenge of putting either Beethoven or Schubert's last masterpiece into the before-the-intermission slot. But before there was time to worry about such things, a vintage Schiff take on Haydn's Hob.XVI:52 put minds at ease with minimal pedaling, crystal clear articulation, and impeccable phrasing. Subtle rubato in the first movement helped accentuate the voices. Folks in the audience were smiling as if appreciating a witty repartee. Before the first movement was over I started noticing deep and effortless lower range and realized that the other visiting star of the evening was the Bösendorfer 280VC.

READ THE FULL The Boston Musical Intelligencer REVIEW