Goethe's Faust is one of the highest peaks of German Romantic poetry, and fascinated composers across Europe: Berlioz, Liszt and Gounod were just some of the many entranced by its visionary power. Schumann too set what he called "Scenes from Goethe's Faust, but he made a point of selecting excerpts rather than using a libretto, focusing more on Part 2 of the play. The result is a work of astonishing passion, which includes some of the most dramatic music Schumann ever wrote, and some of the most beautiful as well, embracing elements of oratorio, opera, song and orchestral poem. Antoni Wit's recording has been acclaimed for "tempos which flow with unforced naturalness and real excitement".
Winner of Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros, this set brings together Robert Schumann's complete works for solo piano. This great cycle benefited from having been recorded in the unique acoustics of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, by the same recording engineer, Jean-Marc Laisné.
Angela Hewitt has earned a richly deserved reputation for her interpretations of Bach and the Baroque, and something of that characteristic clarity illuminates her Schumann performances. Her first disc of this repertoire was praised for its ‘seemingly effortless but always adventurous interpretations … her poise and amplitude lending it an unearthly beauty’ and this second volume, containing some of the composer’s most bewitchingly beautiful music, should be no less lauded.
Marc-André presents a fascinating juxtaposition of two composers who are not obviously musically related, but who are proved on this album to be a felicitous combination. Schumann’s well-loved Kinderszenen (‘Scenes from childhood’) cycle is a masterpiece: each piece is as deftly and exquisitely crafted as anything in his more outwardly sophisticated mode. From the haunting beauty of the opening ‘From foreign lands and people’ (‘Von fremden Ländern und Menschen’), via the spare eloquence of the central ‘Dreaming’ (‘Träumerei’), to the quiet rhetoric of ‘The poet speaks’ (‘Der Dichter spricht’), the listener is taken through nuances of emotion whose effects are heartrendingly poignant.
A great Romantic journey Winner of Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros, this set brings together Robert Schumann's complete works for solo piano. This great cycle benefited from having been recorded in the unique acoustics of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, by the same recording engineer, Jean-Marc Laisné. Sales of the 13 CDs comprising this set have exceeded 20,000 copies round the world. This complete recording is now acknowledged as a reference and, at the same time, an important step in the artistic life of pianist Eric le Sage.
June 8, 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of robert Schumann, one of the most important romantic composers of the 19th century. To celebrate his vast and impressive output, Deutsche Grammophon and Decca have compiled this 35-CD box set of his most important masterworks. Though this is not a complete edition, it includes every major work and a number of rarities covering every aspect of Schumann’s output.
Recordings of Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, are abundant, and even the pairing with the rarer Robert Schumann Violin Concerto, WoO 23, of 1853 are not as infrequent as they used to be. The thorny Schumann concerto has undergone a reevaluation upward, and plenty of players now concur with the judgment of Yehudi Menuhin: "This concerto is the historically missing link of the violin literature; it is the bridge between the Beethoven and the Brahms concertos, though leaning more towards Brahms." Violinist Carolin Widmann who (like the ECM label on which the album appears) has focused mostly on contemporary music, takes up the challenge of providing something new here, and she meets it. The central fact of the recording is that Widmann conducts the Chamber Orchestra of Europe from the violin. Others have done this before, but few have pursued the implications of the technique as far as Widmann has: the performances are unusually light and transparent, and they are perhaps thus in accord with the sounds an orchestra of the middle 19th century might have produced. Sample the unusually lively, sprightly reading of the Mendelssohn concerto's finale.