Schubert: Fantasie in F Minor and Other Piano Duets Andreas Staier and Alexander Melnikov

Cover Schubert: Fantasie in F Minor and Other Piano Duets

Album info



Label: Harmonia Mundi

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Andreas Staier and Alexander Melnikov

Composer: Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Fantasie in F Minor, D. 940, Op. 103:
  • 1I. Allegro molto moderato04:56
  • 2II. Largo02:22
  • 3III. Allegro vivace - Con delicatezza06:23
  • 4IV. Finale. Tempo primo05:43
  • 4 Ländler, D. 814:
  • 54 Ländler, D. 81403:16
  • Marche Caractéristique in C Major, D. 886:
  • 6I. Allegro Vivace06:18
  • Variations on an Original Theme in A-Flat Major, D. 813, Op. 35:
  • 7I. Thema. Allegretto01:29
  • 8II. Variation I01:31
  • 9III. Variation II01:27
  • 10IV. Variation III. Un poco piu lento01:59
  • 11V. Variation IV. Tempo I01:31
  • 12VI. Variation V02:03
  • 13VII. Variation VI. Maestoso01:49
  • 14VIII. Variation VII. Più lento03:27
  • 15IX. Variation VIII. Finale. Allegro moderato04:22
  • 6 Grandes Marches in B Minor, D. 819, Op. 40:
  • 16III. Allegretto07:24
  • Polonaise in D Minor, D. 824, No. 1, Op. 61:
  • 17Polonaise in D Minor, D. 824, No. 1, Op. 6104:22
  • Rondo in A Major, D. 951, Op. 107: Allegretto quasi andantino:
  • 18Rondo in A Major, D. 951, Op. 107: Allegretto quasi andantino12:30
  • Total Runtime01:12:52

Info for Schubert: Fantasie in F Minor and Other Piano Duets

"I have composed a big sonata and variations for four hands, and the latter have met with a specially good reception here, but I do not entirely trust Hungarian taste, and I shall leave it to you and to the Viennese to decide their true merit" So wrote Franz Schubert in 1824, evoking the popular 19th-century genre for 4-hands piano that publishers were always pestering him to write for. In his brief life Schubert devoted 32 compositions to this form and the least of these pieces, be it a ländler, polonaise or march, radiates with all of his finesse and sensitivity. Three are incontestable masterpieces, in the same rank as his sonatas or quartets: the Variations D813, the Fantasie D 940 and the Rondo D 951. All three date from the composer's final years, a period that gave birth to his most accomplished works.

In concert, Andreas Staier and Alexander Melnikov have played Bach's 'Well-Tempered Clavier', with Staier at the harpsichord, alongside Shostakovich's '24 Preludes and Fugues', with Melnikov at the piano. Sharing a keyboard evidently suits them just as well; their unique musical complicity bringing together four hands and two immense talents.

"Two very different but like-minded musicians, Andreas Staier and Alexander Melnikov, sat down together and offered a careful selection of these pieces...two musicians indulging in a Schubert feast of often outstanding quality...They breathed together, evolved together, gave each other wings. It is such a pleasure watching music being made through teamwork, even in - particularly in - the smallest of teams...Staier might as well have sung simultaneously, or instead of playing, such was his understanding and interpretation of those lines, behind which there is always a wordless Lied. The haunting opening theme in the Fantasy in F minor, D.940, with its pounding appoggiatura that stubbornly delays the perfect fourth interval that follows, defied any description." (Reviewed at Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Madrid on 23 September 2014, Laura Furones, Bachtrack)

Andreas Staier, fortepiano Graf by Christopher Clarke
Alexander Melnikov, fortepiano Graf by Christopher Clarke

Andreas Staier
One of the world’s most prominent harpsichord and fortepiano performers, Andreas Staier embarked on a solo career in 1986 and, since then, his indisputable musical mastery has made its mark on the interpretation of baroque, classical and romantic repertoire. Born in Göttingen in 1955, Andreas studied modern piano and harpsichord in Hannover and Amsterdam. For three years, he was the harpsichordist of Musica Antiqua Köln with whom he toured and Asia with orchestras such as Concerto Köln, Freiburger Barockorchester, the Akademie für alte and recorded extensively. As a soloist, Andreas Staier performs throughout Europe, the United States Musik Berlin and the Orchestre des Champs - Elysées Paris. Andreas has been invited to leading international festivals and major venues across Europe, America and Japan, including Konzerthaus Wien, Philharmonie Berlin, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Wigmore Hall London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris, Sala Filarmonica Rome, untory Hall Tokyo, and Carnegie Hall New York. He and is regularly invited as a guest soloist by the BBC. Other projects include performances in South Korea, a tour of South Asia (Taiwan, China) and his debut in South America, with a major invitation to perform with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in April 2017. Andreas has recorded extensively for BMG, Teldec Classics and harmonia mundi France, the latter since 2003. His catalogue boasts numerous awards including a Diapason d’or for his ‘Am Stein vis-à-vis’ with Christine Schornsheim (Mozart), the 2002 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and, in 2011, the Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for his CPE Bach concerti recording with the Freiburger Barockorchester. ‘Variations Diabelli’, was met with great critical acclaim: Diapason d’Or, E/Scherzo, G/Gramophone, 10/10 Classica and Disc of the Month of the BBC Music Magazin. Since, he has recorded a harpsichord recital, ‘Pour Passer la Mélancolie…’, Brahms’ latest works (clarinet sonatas with Lorenzo Coppola and op118 for solo piano) and has also released the highly acclaimed recording of Bach’s harpsichord concertos together with the Freiburger Barockorchester, all for harmonia mundi.

Alexander Melnikov
graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include his early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at such eminent competitions as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).

Known for his often-unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice at an early age. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with such distinguished period ensembles as the Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Orchestre des Champs-Élysées.

As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi, Philippe Herreweghe and Valery Gergiev.

Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov developed a programme that sets excerpts from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (Andreas Staier – harpsichord) in musical dialogue with Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues (Alexander Melnikov – piano). Additionally, the artists recently recorded a unique all-Schubert programme of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. Intensive chamber music collaborations with partners including cellists Alexander Rudin and Jean-Guihen Queyras, as well as the baritone Georg Nigl, also form an essential part of Melnikov’s work.

Alexander Melnikov’s association wth the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won both a Gramophone Award and Germany’s ECHO Klassik Prize. This CD, which has become a touchstone recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy.

Their most recent release features the Brahms sonatas for violin and piano.

Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, Choc de classica and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2011, it was also named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time.” Additionally, his discography features works by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Schostakowitsch and Scriabin. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of CDs featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios; the second installment, featuring the Piano Concerto and the Piano Trio No. 2, was released in September 2015. In November 2016 his new CD will come out featuring works of Prokofiev.

In the 2016/17 season Alexander Melnikov’s will be on tour with his project “The Man with the Many Pianos”, where he performs a solo recital on three different instruments reflecting the periods in which the works were written. Next to concerts with the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Musica Aeterna and the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo he continues his collaboration with Camerata Salzburg, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and as a Artistic partner with Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Further highlights include a residence at Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussel and recitals at London Wigmore Hall, Cité de la Musique Paris, Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij Amsterdam, de Singel Antwerpen and Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona.

Booklet for Schubert: Fantasie in F Minor and Other Piano Duets

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