April 18, 2024

A Delightful Collection of Schubert’s Dances, Performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Pentatone releases Schubert: Ländler, together with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, in May 2024.

Schubert’s Deceptively Simple Dances

Star pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard presents Ländler, a collection of delightful dances composed by Franz Schubert. Rustic and cheerful, these miniatures display a fascinating side of Schubert’s musical persona. Their simplicity is deceptive, as these dances are frequently shaken up by Schubert’s harmonic wandering soul, yet remaining lyrical, picturesque and tuneful.

For Aimard, there is a kinship between Schubert’s Ländler and Kurtág’s Játékok, pieces that he often performs side by side, sharing a combination of playfulness and Modernism that also calls the great twentieth-century miniaturist Anton Webern to mind. By avoiding almost any repetition, Aimard evokes a sleepwalker’s journey rather than a series of dances.

A renowned champion of twentieth-century music, Pierre-Laurent Aimard has released multiple acclaimed albums in his exclusive contract with Pentatone, including Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (2018) and Visions de l’Amen (2022), along with Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata & Eroica Variations (2021). He also joined Tamara Stefanovich in Etudes and Frames (2023), with music by Vassos Nicolaou, and recorded Bartók Piano Concertos with the San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen (2023).

“In these pieces of singular brevity, Schubert manages to plunge us into the heart of the sweetness, ambiguity and vertigo of the realm between life and death. Isn’t it fascinating that the master of the long form also excelled in the field of miniatures? These pages, or rather these lines, offer the pinnacle of intimacy in music, and invite us into an interior, fragile and personal universe.

The pace that I am proposing, avoiding almost any repetition, is perhaps more of a sleepwalker’s journey than a series of dances? This approach aims to bear witness to the irreplaceable place of the intimate in our world — and that of vulnerability, tenderness and secrecy.”

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, pianist

Digital Release Date24 MAY 2024

Physical Release: MAY 2024

Released as 1 standard CD and in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads.