Telarc is pleased to release the second Schubert solo recording by John O'Conor, Moments Musicaux and Sonata in A major (D. 959). With an elegant, refined and beautiful style, O'Conor brilliantly interprets Schubert. His first Schubert release of the four Impromptus of Op. 90, the four of Op. 142, and the Twelve Waltzes of Op. 18 received rave reviews. O'Conor's playing was described as "...controlled delicacy (which is) immediately striking". Upon the first hearing of this new release, it will be obvious that the artistic excellence of this recording matches that of the first.
Schubert was among the first practitioners of the so-called "character piece", the species of compact, single-movement, sharply etched piano compositions designed for the flourishing home music market in the early nineteenth century. Among the most endearing of Schubert's character pieces are the Moments Musicaux. The Moments are modest in length and embody the quintessential lyricism, harmonic suavity and emotional appeal that characterized Schubert's greatest work.
The A major Sonata follows the traditional four-movement classical pattern focusing on melody, harmonic color, piano sonority and the subtle balancing of tonalities. Its unusual Andantino, the most dramatic movement of the last three sonatas, exudes barren bleakness, an uncommon emotion in Schubert's music.