Arthur & Lucas Jussen
Deutsche Grammophon, 2011
Arthur and Lucas Jussen have performed together since childhood and since 2010 they have a contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The present recording is their second album for the German music record (after the one dedicated to Beethoven’s Sonatas) and brings together several works composed by Franz Schubert. In the first CD, the Jussen brothers perform one of Schubert’s Impromptus (D899 and D935) each; in the second, they play together the Fantasy in F minor, D940, and the four Polonaises, op. 75, D599.
Impromptus: the Performance
Each of the two series of Impromptus are performed by one of the brothers. Arthur Jussen performs the Impromptus D899. In his rendition, this set has a restrained and yet virtuosic character which gives prominence to the melancholic mood of the pieces. Lucas Jussen plays the Impromptus D935 in a firmer way, which is less “romantic”, but which has the same lightness and sparkling colours.
In the second part of the recording, the two brothers play together the Fantasy and the four Polonaises. They perform these pieces completely understanding each other – something that you obviously expect from two performers who are used to play together, and yet their perfect harmony has something amazing in it. The more thoughtful mood of the Fantasy and the lively Polonaises reveal their most charming colours with refinement.
Impromptus: Further Considerations
Despite the different temperament, Arthur and Lucas Jussen share the same consideration for music. They never have the intention of being protagonists and there is something withdrawn in their performances. Anyway, they have a soulful and sensitive style of playing which reveal their unstinting commitment to music. Schubert’s lush harmonies flow in the smoothest way. This is the distinctive mark of this recording, which is characterized by an incredible evenness where the different moods develop in the most unaffected way.
This is therefore an inspiring and brilliant recording where there is no need to be flamboyant to be effective. The two pianists’ intentions appear quietly, but in a way which is impossible not to notice. Without exaggeration, the present album of Schubert’s Impromptus can be intended as a lesson of skill and modesty at the same time.