Notes and Editorial Reviews
Parham has the right temperament for Schumann’s two-sided musical personality, creating a spontaneous, ebullient effect in the extroverted music, and a sensitively phrased, warm effect in the intimate, introspective music.
A young English pianist, Lucy Parham has gained public attention since winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year Piano Class in 1984. She made her debut at Wigmore Hall in 1989, and has appeared as soloist with several orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Hallé, and Royal Philharmonic orchestras.
Her discography includes several CDs of 19th-century repertoire, but her specialty is Schumann and his milieu; she has created a concert program called “Beloved Clara” that
explores the intertwined lives of Robert, Clara, and Johannes Brahms, telling their story through readings from diaries and letters, and through their music.
As she plays the familiar music on this disc, there are no startling revelations, but a very solid musical approach that does full justice to each work. Parham has the right temperament for Schumann’s two-sided musical personality, creating a spontaneous, ebullient effect in the extroverted music, and a sensitively phrased, warm effect in the intimate, introspective music.
Lucy Parham has some stiff market competition in this repertoire. In addition to the great Schumann interpreters of earlier generations (Rubinstein, Gieseking, Kempff, et al), there are dozens of gifted young pianists who easily identify with Schumann’s romantic yearnings and emotional personality and set out to jump start their careers with their interpretations of Schumann—and do so with often stunning results—see my recent review of two such talents, Nicholas Roth and Kotaro Fukama, in Fanfare 29:2 for example.
This is a well-recorded and well-played disc that can join the list and give pleasure to aficionados of Schumann’s piano music.
FANFARE: Susan Kagan
Works on This Recording
Kreisleriana, Op. 16 by Robert Schumann
Lucy Parham (Piano)
Written: 1838; Germany
Papillons, Op. 2 by Robert Schumann
Lucy Parham (Piano)
Written: 1829-1831; Germany
Be the first to review this title