These 1964 recordings have worn well, and stand their ground in what is hardly a competitive marketplace for this lovely and still little-known music. These Hungarian-born, later UK-resident musicians play Schubert to the manner born, rejoicing in the relaxed Viennese tradition which is their birthright; as Gramophone noted at the time of the first release, these interpretations "are always technically accomplished, sensitive and well thought out and much to be preferred to many a more sensational rendering. Pauk's firm tone and capacity for long-breathed phrasing are shown to good advantage in the opening of the Fantasy... As always the ensemble is impeccable...As usual Vox have supplied a sympathetic acoustic with just that extra touch of reverberation sufficient to take away all trace of a clinical studio atmosphere."
They are complemented here, as they were at the time of their original LP issue, by a no less sprightly performance of the sonata Schubert wrote for the obsolete Arpeggione, now most commonly heard on the cello. Gramophone’s critic observed Paul Olevsky’s "rich and beautiful tone" at the time.
Considering his perfect knowledge of the violin’s resources – he was a violinist from early childhood – it is astonishing that Schubert wrote so little for this instrument, especially in his brief maturity, from which we have only two works. The other duos and sonatinas to be enjoyed here are products of the composer’s prolific teenage years, more than charming in their own right, not pretending to the emotional depth of the Rondo brillant D895 and the Fantasy D934, of which the last in particular deserves to be set alongside his final Mass and symphony, the late songs, sonatas and quartets, for its free reinvention of a genre – a four-section Fantasy, even more expansive than the "Wanderer" for solo piano – through long-breathed melodies and adventurous harmonic explorations.
Schubert’s relatively small but high-quality output for violin and piano consists of the three Sonatinas, small scale works full of Viennese charm and genial atmosphere, the mature Sonata in A major, the robust Rondo in B minor and the absolute masterpiece in the genre, the great Fantasy in C major, a substantial and dramatic 4-movement work of unprecedented difficulty for both players.
This 2CD set is a reissue of a classic recording from the VOX archives, featuring two great Hungarians, violinist György Pauk and piano Peter Frankl.
Booklet contains original liner notes.