Indian-born, of Jewish-Viennese parents, raised in Paris, virtuoso pianist Jean-Rodolphe Kars converted, in 1976, to Catholicism and was baptised in 1977. Mysteriously, in 1981, he put an end to his career as a pianist, entering the priesthood in 1986. During the late-1960s and early 70s Kars made a few recordings for Decca, all of them gradually appearing on Decca Eloquence. They were, at the time of issue, highly praised for their imagination, colour and sensitivity, together with a great deal of panache and fearless virtuosity. Julius Katchen was one of Kars’s staunchest champions. This is the first issue on CD of Kars’s only Schubert recording comprising the great Wanderer Fantasy and two of the D.946 Klavierstücke.
‘clear, balanced … unfailingly expressive phrasing and ingratiating tone – particularly his cantabile, which always sings (Wanderer Fantasy) […] Kars’s playing is as conscientious as it is pleasingly musical. … The recording is excellent (Klavierstücke)’ […] Mr Kars’s performance of the Wanderer is extremely cleanly articulated and beautifully balanced and in the two piano pieces his playing has the measure of Schubert’s simplicity and its human complexities’ Gramophone