February 18, 2020
Shai Wosner’s Recording of Schubert Piano Sonatas To Be Released by Onyx Classics, March 20

Album comprises Piano Sonatas D845, D894, D958, and D960

“…a Schubertian of unfaltering authority and character…” —Gramophone

 NEW YORK, NEW YORK (February 18, 2020) — Pianist Shai Wosner’s career-long, critically acclaimed engagement with the music of Franz Schubert continues with the release of a new album comprising the Piano Sonatas in A minor (D845), G major (D894), C minor (D958), and B-flat major (D960)—four of the composer’s last six sonatas. This two-disc set is released by Onyx Classics on Friday, March 20, and pre-orders are currently available via Amazon.com

In recitals around the world, Mr. Wosner has expanded the traditional focus on Schubert’s final three sonatas to instead encompass the final six, which he characterizes as “thick novels, rich with insight about the human condition.” He elaborates:

“When Schubert gets to writing his last six sonatas, something happens in his writing for piano. The last six sonatas are really the ones that he himself championed, as if all the ones before ... just didn’t count. All of a sudden you have these pieces for piano that are really like symphonies for the piano. They’re not just piano sonatas. The artistic ambition behind them is immense. You have these pieces that are 35 minutes long, sometimes 40 minutes long. In [their] scope [they are] like symphonies and yet they have the intimacy of a solo piano piece … intended for the salon.”

With this album, Mr. Wosner has now recorded all six of these sonatas. The Piano Sonata in D major (D850, “Gasteiner”) appears on his 2011 all-Schubert album of folk-inspired works, which also includes the Piano Sonata in C major (D840, “Reliquie”) and Hungarian Dances (D817). The composer’s penultimate sonata—in A major (D959)—is featured on Mr. Wosner’s 2014 recording alongside the Six moments musicaux (D780) and a newly commissioned work by Missy Mazzoli.

Among Mr. Wosner's further explorations of the music of Schubert have been his 2015 recital project, The Schubert Effect, with the Parker Quartet and his 2017 recording Impromptu, which surveys improvisationally inspired pieces over the centuries and features the composer’s Four Impromptus (D935) most prominently.

During the 2017–18 season, Mr. Wosner launched his recital series of the last six piano sonatas, “Schubert: The Great Sonatas.” He has performed the series at the 92nd Street Y in New York, The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Duke University in Durham, NC, and Konzerthaus Berlin. Beyond performances of the full series, Schubert piano sonatas feature regularly on his recital programs around the world.

Shai Wosner performs Schubert piano sonatas at 92nd Street Y

Pianist Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. His performances of a diverse repertoire reflect a degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favorite among audiences and critics. A frequent recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician, he is known for imaginative programming that links music of widely divergent styles and eras. He is a recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He has performed with orchestras including the Los Angeles and Vienna Philharmonics, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Baltimore, BBC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto Symphonies. This recording marks his eighth recording for Onyx Classics. For more information, visit shaiwosner.com.

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ONYX 4217

Shai Wosner, piano


Piano Sonata in A minor, D845
1. I - Moderato (11.47)
2. II - Andante poco moto (11.19)
3. III - Scherzo: Allegro vivace - Trio: Un poco più lento (6.51)
4. IV - Rondo: Allegro vivace (6.02)

Piano Sonata in G major, D894
5. I - Molto moderato e cantabile (17.15)
6. II - Andante (8.23)
7. III - Menuetto: Allegro moderato (4.05)
8. IV - Allegretto (9.02)


Piano Sonata in C minor, D958
1. I - Allegro (9.52)
2. II - Adagio (8.20)
3. III - Menuetto: Allegro - Trio (3.15)
4. IV - Allegro (8.59)

Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D960
5. I - Molto moderato (22.00)
6. II - Andante sostenuto (10.40)
7. III - Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza - Trio (4.09)
8. IV - Allegro ma non troppo - Presto (8.30)

Total timing: 148.04

Recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters (New York, NY), July 10–15, 2018.

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For review copies, contact:
Shuman Associates
(212) 315-1300 | shumanpr@shumanassociates.net

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