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Schumann: Piano Works & Chamber Music Vol 11 / Eric Le Sage

Schumann / Le Sage
Release Date: 01/11/2011 
Label:  Alpha Productions   Catalog #: 169   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUMANN Piano and Chamber Music, Vol. 11 : 11 Piano Pieces Éric Le Sage (pn) ALPHA 169 (2 CDs: 153:36)


French-born pianist Éric Le Sage has been engaged in performing Schumann’s complete works for piano in concert and on the Alpha record label. In this disc we have the final recording in the project, and a very impressive recording it is. Le Sage’s technical proficiency, sense of phrasing and dynamics, and understanding of Schumann’s various musical messages is Read more of the highest caliber.


Among the 11 pieces on this disc are some well-known works— Abegg Variations, Kinderszenen, Carnaval, Arabeske, and Albumblätter— and some lesser-known works, such as the Toccata (op. 7), Studies Based on a Theme of Beethoven (no opus), Seven Fugues (op. 126), and the final and mysterious Theme with Variations ( Geister Variations, no opus).


The Abegg Variations is Schumann’s op. 1, and as such is remarkable in the variability of its use of the tonal sequence A, B?, E, G, G (suggested by the letters of the surname Abegg, where B? is B in German notation) and of that tonal sequence in reverse, and in the technical mastery required to perform it. (Meta Abegg was supposedly the name of a girl Schumann met briefly at a ball.) Carnaval, Arabeske, and Albumblätter are among the piano masterpieces of the Romantic period of which Schumann was such an integral part. The studies (etudes) on the Beethoven theme is a set of variations on the opening of the Allegretto of the Seventh Symphony, with some other bits and pieces of Beethoven entering some of the variations as the piece proceeds. This set of Etude Variations has been relatively neglected; it is an interesting composition. The same neglect applies to the Seven Fugues, which are in the style of Bach, and which are endlessly fascinating, as are most fugues to fugue fanciers such as myself.


The booklet in the wallet-fold packaging contains excellent discussions of the music and some very good photographic images, but no information about the performer. From his website, however, Le Sage’s accomplishments can be summarized. He was the winner of international competitions such as Porto in 1985 and the Robert Schumann competition in Zwickau in 1989. He was also a prizewinner at the Leeds International Competition in 1989.


Le Sage’s accomplishments are borne out by these exceptionally fine Schumann piano offerings on this disc. This is a CD for all to own, and of course to hear with some frequency.


FANFARE: Burton Rothleder
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Works on This Recording

1. Theme and Variations for Piano on the name ABEGG, Op. 1 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1830; Germany 
2. Toccata for Piano in C major, Op. 7 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1832; Germany 
3. Kinderszenen, Op. 15 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
4. Etudes in the form of Free Variations on a theme of Beethoven, WoO 31 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
5. Carnaval, Op. 9 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1835; Germany 
6. Romances (3) for Piano, Op. 28 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
7. Arabeske for Piano in C major, Op. 18 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
8. Albumblätter for Piano, Op. 124 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1845; Germany 
9. Blumenstück for Piano in D flat major, Op. 19 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
10. Klavierstücke (7) in the form of Fugues, Op. 126 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
11. Variations for Piano on an original theme "Geisterthema" by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 

Sound Samples

Theme and Variations on the name Abegg, Op. 1: Theme
Theme and Variations on the name Abegg, Op. 1: Variation 1
Theme and Variations on the name Abegg, Op. 1: Variation 2
Theme and Variations on the name Abegg, Op. 1: Variation 3
Theme and Variations on the name Abegg, Op. 1: Variation 4: Cantabile
Theme and Variations on the name Abegg, Op. 1: Variation 5: Finale alla Fantasia
Toccata in C major, Op. 7
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 1. Von fremden Landern und Menschen (Of Foreign Lands and People)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 2. Curiose Geschichte (A Strange Story)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 3. Hasche-Mann (Catch-as-catch-can)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 4. Bittendes Kind (Pleading Child)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 5. Gluckes genug (Happy Enough)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 6. Wichtige Begebenheit (An Important Event)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 7. Traumerei (Dreaming)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 8. Am Camin (By the Fire-side)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 9. Ritter vom Steckenpferd (Knight of the Hobby-horse)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 10. Fast zu ernst (Almost Too Serious)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 11. Furchtenmachen (Frightening)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 12. Kind im Einschlummern (Child Falling Asleep)
Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15: No. 13. Der Dichter spricht (The Poet Speaks)
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Theme
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude C1: Un poco maestoso
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude C2
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude C3
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude C4: Molto moderato
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude C5 (Choral)
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude C6: Presto
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude C7
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude A6: Passionato
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude A7
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude A10: Prestissimo
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude A11: Legato teneramente
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude B4
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude B5: Cantando
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude B7
Variations on a theme by Beethoven, WoO 31: Etude B3
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 1. Preambule
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 2. Pierrot
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 3. Arlequin
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 4. Valse noble
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 5. Eusebius
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 6. Florestan
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 7. Coquette
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 8. Replique
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 9. Papillons
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 10. ASCH - SCHA (Lettres dansantes)
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 11. Chiarina
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 12. Chopin
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 13. Estrella
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 14. Reconnaissance
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 15. Pantalon et Colombine
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 16. Valse allemande
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 17. Intermezzo: Paganini
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 18. Aveu
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 19. Promenade
Carnaval, Op. 9: No. 20. Pause - No. 21. Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins
3 Romanzen, Op. 28: No. 1 in B flat minor
3 Romanzen, Op. 28: No. 2 in F sharp major
3 Romanzen, Op. 28: No. 3 in B major
Arabeske in C major, Op. 18
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 1. Impromptu
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 2. Leides Ahnung
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 3. Scherzino
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 4. Walzer
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 5. Phantasietanz
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 6. Wiegenliedchen
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 7. Landler
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 8. Lied ohne Ende
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 9. Impromptu
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 10. Walzer
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 11. Romanze
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 12. Burla
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 13. Larghetto
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 14. Vision
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 15. Walzer
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 16. Schlummerlied
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 17. Elfe
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 18. Botschaft
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 19. Phantasiestuck
Albumblatter, Op. 124: No. 20. Canon
Blumenstuck in D flat major, Op. 19
7 Clavierstucke in Fughettenform, Op. 126: No. 1. Nicht schnell, leise vorzutragen
7 Clavierstucke in Fughettenform, Op. 126: No. 2. Massig
7 Clavierstucke in Fughettenform, Op. 126: No. 3. Ziemlich bewegt
7 Clavierstucke in Fughettenform, Op. 126: No. 4. Lebhaft
7 Clavierstucke in Fughettenform, Op. 126: No. 5. Ziemlich langsam, empfindungsvoll vorzutragen
7 Clavierstucke in Fughettenform, Op. 126: No. 6. Sehr schnell
7 Clavierstucke in Fughettenform, Op. 126: No. 7. Langsam, ausdrucksvoll
Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24: Theme: Leise, innig
Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24: Variation 1
Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24: Variation 2: Kanonisch
Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24: Variation 3: Etwas belebter
Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24: Variation 4
Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24: Variation 5

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