American Record Guide, May/June 2003: Virtuoso SCHUBERT Album review

Piano Sonata in A, D. 959; Wanderer Fantasy

Zeynep Ucbasaran —Eroica 3108— 62 minutes

The Turkish pianist gives us objective performances of clarity, sharp detail, rhythmic vitality, and integrity. She is obviously a player for whom outward brilliance and virtuoso display are of secondary importance , markedly sublimated to purely musical values. However these excellent qualities are somewhat diminished in this recording by the lack of color and differentiation in her tone and by her squareish handling of certain phrases and passages.

Miss Ucbasaran holds a doctorate inpiano performance from the University of Southern California, but has also been trained in Budapest and Freiburg, Germany. Her liner notes are concise and informative, and her CD has been carefully produced and engineered, though the sound is on the dry side. Gustav Klimt's beautiful painting of Schubert at the piano appears in the brochure.

In overall evaluation, I would place this release on a par with the recordings of Schubert's A-major Sonata by Jando and Andsnes reviewed in the last ARG. I am happy to have this recording in my collection, though Brendel's accounts of this Sonata, Schubert's next-to-last, remain unchallenged (Phillips), as does Rubinstein's magisterial Wanderer Fantasy (RCA).

David Mulbury