If you're not familiar with Clara Schumann's music, this collection of solo and chamber works provides an excellent and inexpensive overview. Pianist Micaela Gelius favors an expansive, rhetorical, and probing interpretive style that emphasizes robust poetry rather than scintillation. It reminds me of Claudio Arrau's finest efforts on behalf of Clara's husband Robert. To cite several instances, note how Gelius' gentle push-and-pull rubatos in the A minor Romance underline the music's rich harmonic lode, or the organic flow from one variation to the next in the Op. 20 set (arguably Clara's masterpiece).
By contrast, Gelius and her string-playing colleagues turn in a genial, affectionate performance of the superb G minor PianoRead more Trio that stands out for its expressive economy. For example, they match the Abegg Trio's sophisticated ensemble aplomb and tonal warmth in the Scherzo Menuet, yet without that group's tricky phrasings in the main theme. I'm particularly sold on (indeed, addicted to) violinist Sreten Krstic's sweet, silvery tone, both in the Trio and in the beautifully played Op. 22 Romances. Perhaps the engineering is a bit too resonant, but the instrumental timbres never blur in the process. A handsome release, well worth hearing.
Very EnjoyableFebruary 23, 2014By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"Light, melodic solo piano pieces constitute the first 2/3 of this very nice Arte Nova disk, with a delicate, wonderfully nuanced performance by pianist Micaela Gelius. Three Romances for Violin and Piano are followed by Clara Schumann's Piano Trio, both chamber works giving me the impression of structural simplicity combined with her focus on melody. All of these works provide easy listening and much enjoyment- nothing too complicated, but filled with nice tunes and excellent playing by the Gelius Trio. Clara Schumann's chamber music lacks the power and depth of other Romantic Age composers, but in no way does this indicate a lack of quality or honesty. I think this recording merits attention by all chamber music fans, especially those who favor smaller-scale Romantic Age compositions. Recommended."Report Abuse
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