96kHz/24-bit FLAC*, Harmonia Mundi HMC 902165.66 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Although the last two Schubert sonatas are reissues from 2002, Paul Lewis has re-recorded the A-minor and C-minor (D784/958), again at the Teldex Studios Berlin, last spring. And in any case we haven’t had the higher resolution until now. There’s very little difference in sound: perhaps the new recordings are in tighter focus with less ambient sound, but it’s marginal. No-one I have heard makes more sense of the central outburst in the Andantino of the Sonata in A (D959); and Lewis’s Schubert suggests more affinity with Beethoven in its overtness – it’s a very different approach from that of the ‘reverent’ Mitsuko Uchida or even Paul Lewis’s mentor Alfred Brendel (whose example he followed in 2002 by omitting the exposition repeat in D960(i) – perhaps one day he’ll be persuaded otherwise). CB

Sound Quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Kudos to our reviewer for hearing ‘very little difference in sound’ for while this ‘96kHz/24-bit’ download will illuminate the 96kHz LED on your USB DAC, the file is clearly a 44.1kHz upsample with no advantage in bandwidth over the CD. PM