WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org
Welcome to ArkivMusic, the retail store for WFMT!

Schumann: Complete Piano Works

Schumann / Frankl / Schmitt-leonardy / Wurtz
Release Date: 03/09/2010 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94008  
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára WürtzRonald BrautigamLuba EdlinaWolfram Schmitt-Leonardy,   ... 
Conductor:  Arie Van Beek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 14 
Recorded in: Stereo 
This title is currently unavailable.



Notes and Editorial Reviews

The pianists in this collection illustrate the many sides of this most complicated of composers, finding a happy medium between wild subjectivity and a more objective symphonic approach, between contrapuntal issues and a deeper personal message of love and longing.

Würtz's solo performances unquestionably hold their turf alongside the reference versions, and then some. In Kreisleriana, for instance, she matches Radu Lupu's poetry and sweep while imparting more shape and meaning to the accompanimental filigree in the first movement's central episode; and she articulates rather than blurs No. 3's basic triplet rhythm as most pianists do. She also proves that No. 7's whirlwind momentum can be conveyed on a steadier
Read more course than the rockier road traveled via Martha Argerich's roller coaster.

Under Würtz's assertive yet sensitive fingers the C major Fantasy achieves a happy medium between Kissin's wild, arrestingly detailed subjectivity and Pollini's more objective, symphonically oriented approach. Pollini's similarly terse, Apollonian organization of the F-sharp minor Sonata's rambling tendencies finds a warmer, more colorful counterpart via Würtz. The Second Sonata's dense textures dance with all of Richter's lightness and clarity, adding enough speed to dazzle without venturing into the breakneck terrain over which Argerich and Hamelin stand guard. Würtz also brilliantly projects Faschingsschwank aus Wien's giddy, unbuttoned qualities as well as the work's poignant lyricism. Her tone quality seems gaunter and more trimmed-down in the concerto, not unlike Rudolf Serkin and Leon Fleisher minus their quavering nervous energy.

– Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com [reviewing Klára Würtz's Schumann recordings, Brilliant 99791]

------

The early Abegg Variations sparkle with a subdued glow that makes sense of the various swirls of musical components marking a composer trying to find his way. Personal to the end, Schumann could not resist making a melody out of the last name of his Heidelberg University friend’s fiancée Fraulein Meta Abegg. And the six Intermezzi, more popular in Brahms’s canon than in Schumann’s, come together with a coherence that many performances fail to achieve, a mixture of technical proficiency that can easily navigate the contrapuntal issues and emotive reflection that balances the fantastic origins of the work, derived for the most part from song texts, and initially labeled by the composer as the Pièces phantastiques... Best of all just might be the Symphonic Variations... [T]hey have a formal integrity and sense of connectedness often missing in the hands of lesser artists...

– Steven E. Ritter, FANFARE [reviewing Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy's Schumann recordings, Brilliant 93772]

-----

What I enjoyed most is Brautigam's vitality—vitality of imagination no less than of fingers. You are immediately gripped by his plunge into the Op. 8 Allegro, with its arresting octave 'motto'. His mercurial fancy and ear for hidden melodic strands in the ensuing stream certainly makes nonsense of hasty dismissal of this work as mere old-style virtuoso note-spinning. Moreover, such is his unflagging impulse in the eight Novelletten that never for a moment are you tempted to accuse Schumann of over-repetitively patterned figuration. Just once or twice I wondered if the dashing Florestan in Brautigam was overbold, at the expense of detailed finesse. But in the last—the longest and the most heartfelt of these pieces—his merging of its deeper personal message of love and longing into the fray completely won me over. Potently characterized and contrasted as are the three Fantasiestiicke, Op. 111 of 1851, Brautigam leaves you in no doubt as to their unity as a set—as he does again, still more subtly and movingly, in the more elusive spiritual world of the five Geseinge der Frühe.

– Joan Chissell, Gramophone [6/1994, reviewing Ronald Brautigam's Schumann recordings, Olympia 436]

-----

Peter Frankl's third Schumann volume valuably includes several works you could go a lifetime without encountering on thc recital platform, notably the six Studies after Caprices of Paganini, Op. 3 of 1832, into which the youthful composer poured all his enthusiasm for that legendary wizard whom he had recently heard in Frankfurt... But however pedagogic the Op. 3 group, Frankl deserves our gratitude for making the most of them, with his fluency and his contrasts of touch... The Four Fugues, Op. 72 of 1845 stand as proof of Schumann's resolve to improve his craftsmanship, not least his counterpoint, in middle life—with Mendelssohn as his main inspiration. Formally they are unassailable... Throughout the set Frankl makes every contrapuntal felicity clear as day while giving each piece a distinctive personality of its own... Frankl captures the mercurial mood changes [of the Humoreske] while cleverly holding the piece together... Bunte Blätter [is] full of character...

– Joan Chissell, Gramophone [5/1979, reviewing Peter Frankl's Schumann recordings, Turnabout TVS37118-20]

-----

13 CDs plus 1 CD-ROM.

Schumann's career very nearly took a very different direction. He had planned to be a writer and a lawyer, and it was the experience of hearing Paganini play in 1830 that provided the impetus to set the young man on a path that would eventually see him become one of the great romantic composers. Having chosen this path, (he had dabbled as a composer in his childhood, and his father considered sending him to Weber for tuition), Schumann found composition anything but easy. A pianist of considerable prowess, he worshipped Beethoven and Chopin. His early works though show remarkably little influence of his heroes. For Schumann the models for his early sonatas and the many attempted piano concertos were Hummel, Moscheles (who he also idolised), Cramer, Weber and Spohr. Many works were started, left incomplete, then cannibalised for the few he did complete and publish. This collection of all the complete works for solo piano plus the Piano Concerto illustrates the struggles, failures and triumphs of this most complicated of composers. The famous Piano Concerto is a modelled on the Hummel/Moscheles form -- none the worse for that, but it was Schumann's third attempt at a piano concerto, and is actually two works put together. That said it is an undoubted masterpiece, as are the solo piano works Kreisleriana Op.9, the C major Fantasie (probably the nearest he got to a 'Beethovenian' Sonata) Op.17, Kinderszenen Op.15, Carnaval Op.9. This set also contains the lesser-known early works, and the more formal piano sonatas Opp. 11 & 22 -- both these works completed after years of struggle, and incorporating material from earlier works.

- Most of the recordings in this set are recent, dating from the 1990s to 2008. Peter Frankl's excellent Turnabout recordings date from the late 1970s.
- Comprehensive booklet note on each work.
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Kreisleriana, Op. 16 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
2. Phantasie for Piano in C major, Op. 17 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1838; Germany 
3. Sonata for Piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 11 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1835; Germany 
4. Sonata for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1838; Germany 
5. Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Conductor:  Arie Van Beek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841-1845; Germany 
6. Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839-1840; Germany 
7. Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
8. Waldszenen, Op. 82 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1849; Germany 
9. Arabeske for Piano in C major, Op. 18 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
10. Kinderszenen, Op. 15 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
11. Allegro for Piano in B minor, Op. 8 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Germany 
12. Novelletten (8) for Piano, Op. 21 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
13. Phantasiestücke (3) for Piano, Op. 111 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Germany 
14. Gesänge der Frühe (5) for Piano, Op. 133 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
15. Album für die Jugend, Op. 68 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Luba Edlina (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Germany 
16. Carnaval, Op. 9 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1835; Germany 
17. Nachtstücke (4) for Piano, Op. 23 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
18. Toccata for Piano in C major, Op. 7 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1832; Germany 
19. Klavierstücke (4), Op. 32 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839; Germany 
20. Sonata for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22: Presto passionato by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1833; Germany 
21. Theme and Variations for Piano on the name ABEGG, Op. 1 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1830; Germany 
22. Intermezzi (6) for Piano, Op. 4 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Germany 
23. Symphonic Etudes for Piano, Op. 13 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837/1852; Germany 
24. Davidsbündlertänze for Piano, Op. 6 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Mariana Izman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
25. Papillons, Op. 2 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Mariana Izman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1831; Germany 
26. Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 14 "Concert sans orchestre" by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Mariana Izman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835-1836; Germany 
27. Impromptus (10) on a theme by Clara Schumann, Op. 5 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
28. Humoreske for Piano in B flat major, Op. 20 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
29. Album für die Jugend, Op. 68: Supplement by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Germany 
30. Etudes (6) for Piano after Paganini Caprices, Set 1, Op. 3 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Germany 
31. Sonatas (3) for Piano, Op. 118 "für die Jugend" by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
32. Bunte Blätter for Piano, Op. 99 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1849; Germany 
33. Albumblätter for Piano, Op. 124 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1845; Germany 
34. Blumenstück for Piano in D flat major, Op. 19 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
35. Marches (4) for Piano, Op. 76 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
36. Klavierstücke (7) in the form of Fugues, Op. 126 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
37. Scherzo for Piano in F minor by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836; Germany 
38. Etudes in the form of Free Variations on a theme of Beethoven, WoO 31 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
39. Fugues (4) for Piano, Op. 72 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Germany 
40. Albumblätter for Piano, Op. 124 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1845; Germany 
41. Romances (3) for Piano, Op. 28 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
42. Variations for Piano on an original theme "Geisterthema" by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 
43. Canon for Piano in A flat major on F.H. Himmel's "An Alexis send ich dich" by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Peter Frankl (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook