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Schumann: Piano Music / George-emmanuel Lazaridis

Release Date: 10/29/2002 
Label:  Somm   Catalog #: 24   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  George-Emmanuel Lazaridis
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The year 2002 brought forth a bumper crop of first-rate Schumann piano recordings, capped by this impressive recital from the 23-year-old Greek pianist George-Emmanuel Lazaridis. His hearty sonority and instincts for textural diversity serve this mercurial composer's style supremely well. Fantasiestücke emerges with memorable moments. My ears certainly perked up at the pianist's revealing voice-leading and carefully orchestrated climaxes in Aufschwung, Grillen, and Ende vom Lied. The imitative writing throughout Warum emerges as if being played on two different instruments. In der Nacht's swirling patterns are awesomely liquid and nuanced, with remarkably little help from the sustain pedal. In Fabel, however, the slow sections seem Read more protracted to the point where they don't quite lead into the fast rejoinders. I would have liked a heftier treatment of Traumes Wirren's chordal middle section in order to provide more contrast to Lazaridis' fleet dispatch of the finger-twisting outer sections.

Although Richter, Perahia, and Cortot serve up Papillons' 12 mini-movements with more dynamic abandon and lyric spontaneity, Lazaridis' supple, characterful playing delights me no less (and so does his sly observance of the "in-authentic" B-flat on No. 2's repeat). I particularly love how he gets Schumann's signature dotted rhythms and repeated chords to literally dance off the page, and his gentle, luminous treatment of the last movement's "horn calls" as they fade away into nothingness. The same textural care and controlled extroversion inform Lazaridis' way with Carnaval. He shares Konstantin Lifschiftz's penchant for headlong tempos and delectable, Hofmann/Cortot/Moiseiwitsch inner voices, but expresses them within more conventional, less iconoclastic contours. Perhaps Lazaridis' Carnaval will acquire a wider dynamic and dramatic scope over time, but this is masterful, authoritative playing any way you slice it. Needless to say, keep your eye on George-Emmanuel Lazaridis.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  George-Emmanuel Lazaridis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Papillons, Op. 2 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  George-Emmanuel Lazaridis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1831; Germany 
Carnaval, Op. 9 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  George-Emmanuel Lazaridis (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1835; Germany 

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