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Schuman: Intermezzi, Phantasiestucke, Sonata No 1 / Padova

Schumann / Padova
Release Date: 03/09/2010 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33846   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Andrea Padova
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SCHUMANN Intermezzi. 3 Fantasy Pieces. Piano Sonata No. 1 in f? Andrea Padova (pn) STRADIVARIUS 33846 (70:03)

Schumann’s op. 4 is a distinct progression beyond his first piano works, and one only has to listen to these intermezzi to realize that the composer’s study of Bach had taken him a good deal away from the op. 2 Papillons. The depth and emotional content have driven us out of the Read more ballroom and into a more reflective, contrapuntal, and in many ways sparser world of pianism. As such these six pieces require an ability to turn on a dime from the most ascetic of approaches to one that engulfs nascent Romanticism, from easily managed two-part lines of great simplicity to sudden bursts of fever that seem to arise from nowhere.

If any work of Schumann’s most reflects the manner and muse of Franz Liszt it would certainly have to be his first sonata. Not only the sparse and elemental melodic line that opens the work, or its arpeggiated accompaniment, but the sectional nature of the first movement with its similar yet contrasting allusions to Liszt’s B Minor shows the hovering presence of the Hungarian. The links between this work and the Four Intermezzi are obvious (they were tied together slightly at one point), and Schumann’s opus equals the Liszt in length. I like what Andrea Padova has done with the piece the more I hear it; while the Earl Wild still remains my standard in the work, with an appearance of the more classically oriented Eric Le Sage for comparison, Padova takes a back seat to no one in this tempestuous reading.

Though the notes claim that the Fantasy Pieces are “related” in style, I hear that only intermittently and only in a superficial manner; in fact, I would be greatly surprised if Brahms himself did not take these as models for his own intermezzi. Here Schumann reaches deep into the bag of chip-on-the-shoulder smoldering turbulence combined with a degree of introspection that serves as a corrective to the outer movements. This is one Schumann work that I really wish had been longer. Padova again plays with a fine sense of clarity and tone, making this an easily recommendable album that should yield much pleasure.

FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

Intermezzi (6) for Piano, Op. 4 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Andrea Padova (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Germany 
Venue:  Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken 
Length: 21 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Phantasiestücke (3) for Piano, Op. 111 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Andrea Padova (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Germany 
Venue:  Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken 
Length: 11 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 11 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Andrea Padova (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1835; Germany 
Venue:  Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken 
Length: 36 Minutes 36 Secs. 

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