Listening List: Pianist Martin Helmchen


For years I've listened to Schubert's Sonata in A, D. 959 in a recording that has never entirely pleased me. The pianist - nameless, naturally - thought of this late work, apparently, as leading directly to Bartok and Stravinsky. Now comes Martin Helmchen with a new recording of the piece that heightens the drama without ever growing percussive. I'd love to know what kind of piano he's playing, so marvelously mellow it is. Turns out this is the solo recording debut of the Berlin-born pianist.