Paul Lewis: Brighton Festival at Glyndebourne: Music Review

May 7, 2013

Paul lewisPaul Lewis



Sonata No.19 in C minor D958
Sonata No.20 in A major D959

Sonata No.21 in B flat major D960


At the beginning of 2011, Paul Lewis embarked upon a two-year project to perform all the piano works from the last six years of Schubert’s life. As this labour of love reaches its climax, he performed Schubert’s last major compositions for the piano, written the year before his death in 1828 and he performed it in the glory of Glyndebourne on a sunny spring day.

The three late sonatas represent the culmination of Schubert’s genius for writing for the piano. Revealing a rare depth of expressiveness, they reflect the turbulent emotions that assailed Schubert in the closing months of his life and present profound challenges and opportunities for an eloquent interpreter.

See Lewis’s website here:

Lewis is an astonishing pianist, full of flair and deep insight and channeling his profound understanding of Schubert to bring a freshness of touch to these three Sonata’s. I was transfixed and adore his almost Victorian attitude towards playing Schubert. He’s dramatic and theatrical while at the same time erasing his own personality and letting the glorious subtly of the music shine through. His explorations of the depth of these complicated and sophisticated Sonatas was thorough but he also delighted in letting some of the moments of hope and humour in these works shine though, something sadly over looked by most pianists.

This concert provided a breathtaking overview not only of Schubert’s genius but also of the artistry of one of today’s great instrumentalists, made even better by a picnic in the ground of Glyndebourne, the spring sunshine and a wonderful display of spring flowers.

The Brighton Festival at it’s very best. See the festival website for more info.

Sun 5 May, 3pm