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Schumann: Complete Works For Violin & Orchestra / Neudauer

Schumann / Neudauer / Gonzalez
Release Date: 06/29/2010 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93258   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Lena Neudauer
Conductor:  Pablo Gonzalez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It's surprising that pianist/composer Robert Schumann wrote enough music for violin and orchestra to fill an entire CD, especially one that plays for nearly 80 minutes. But as is often the case with these "complete" collections, there's a little fudging going on. The A minor concerto is actually a transcription (made by the composer) of Schumann's cello concerto, and the change in instrument makes a substantial difference in the work's effect. Instead of the somewhat somber feel imparted by the cello, the violin lends a notably sunnier cast to the music. The brighter tone engages the ear rather than tires it. (This is not to disparage the cello, but Schumann's handling of it tends to emphasize its duskier aspects.)

Read more Anyway, a good part of this impression is due to Lena Neudauer's energized and highly convincing playing--she seems to be happily singing along through her instrument. The same goes for the Fantasy for violin and orchestra, which opens the disc.

Schumann's violin concerto proper, the D minor, is similarly compelling in Neudauer's hands as she dresses the composer's cloying themes in a welcome romantic warmth. That said, Gidon Kremer's edgier rendition (with Muti) provides greater aural stimulation.

The remainder of the program is comprised of three of Schumann's 12 Pieces for Piano Four Hands Op. 85, in arrangements by Ernst Rudorff (Nos. 3 & 9) and Joseph Joachim (No. 12). These are delightful works, made even more enchanting by Neudauer's sweet-toned, affectionate playing. Pablo Gonzalez's lively accompaniments with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonic perfectly suit Neudauer's approach. The recording gives a believable impression of a solo violinist in front of an orchestra in a concert hall--a rare thing in concerto productions. Schumann collectors and violin aficionados alike will find much to savor in this disc. Recommended.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Fantasie for Violin and Orchestra in C major, Op. 131 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Lena Neudauer (Violin)
Conductor:  Pablo Gonzalez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
2. Concerto for Violin in D minor by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Lena Neudauer (Violin)
Conductor:  Pablo Gonzalez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
3. Concerto for Cello in A minor, Op. 129 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Lena Neudauer (Violin)
Conductor:  Pablo Gonzalez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Germany 
4. Pieces (12) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 85: no 3, Gartenmelodie by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Lena Neudauer (Violin)
Conductor:  Pablo Gonzalez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
5. Pieces (12) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 85: no 9, Am Springbrunnen by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Lena Neudauer (Violin)
Conductor:  Pablo Gonzalez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849 
6. Pieces (12) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 85: no 12, Abendlied by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Lena Neudauer (Violin)
Conductor:  Pablo Gonzalez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 

Sound Samples

Phantasie in C major, Op. 131
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. posth.: I. In kraftigem, nicht zu schnellem Tempo
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. posth.: II. Langsam
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. posth.: III. Lebhaft, doch nicht schnell
Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129 (version for violin and orchestra): I. Nicht zu schnell
Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129 (version for violin and orchestra): II. Langsam
Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129 (version for violin and orchestra): III. Sehr lebhaft
12 Klavierstucke, Op. 85 (arr. for violin and orchestra): No. 3. Gartenmelodie (arr. E.F.K. Rudorff)
12 Klavierstucke, Op. 85 (arr. for violin and orchestra): No. 9. Am Springbrunnen (arr. E.F.K. Rudorff)
12 Klavierstucke, Op. 85 (arr. for violin and orchestra): No. 12. Abendlied (arr. J. Joachim)

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