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Schumann: 4 Marches, 7 Piano Pieces / Juan Carlos Rodriguez


Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573094  
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUMANN Four Marches, Op. 76. Four Fugues, Op. 72. Seven Piano Pieces in the Form of Fughettas, Op. 126. Album for the Young: “Wilder Reiter” (alternative version); Additional Pieces, WoO 16 and 30; Album Leaf: Foreboding Juan Carlos Rodriguez (pn) NAXOS 8.573094 (69:05) Read more


Naxos has been issuing Schumann piano discs, including this disc of relatively neglected music, by different pianists. Of the music found here, I had heard only the Fugues before this disc arrived: the fugues and the one march, Op. 76/2, that Richter recorded. There is little competition for this recording: Those collectors who have the complete Schumann piano music by Karl Engel are lucky. I have only half the set, and Engel’s recordings, made in the 1980s, are out of print. This new disc by a solid pianist with wide-ranging experience, fills a gap. It begins with the Four Marches, op. 76, which the very unmartial Schumann wrote in 1849, presumably in sympathy with the rebels of those restless years. According to the notes, Schumann himself dodged the draft by hiding in his house. (That they didn’t find him suggests the lack of imagination of imperial forces.) The marches are of course not meant to be marched to: They each have a central trio that breaks the thumping rhythm. Despite Richter’s preference for the second of these marches, I find the third, with its subtitle “Camp Scenes,” the most charming of these pieces. It begins with a wistful theme, and the trio moves in triplets. Schumann must have meant to give us a break from the aggressive rhythms of the other marches.


The fugues, op. 72 and op. 126, are tributes to Bach. The sprightly second fugue from op. 72 in fact sounds like the master. Perhaps for that reason I prefer such pieces as the first from op. 72, with its spare textures and gentle theme. Rodriguez plays this initial fugue gently, and effectively. There is nothing obscure about Schumann’s publication Album for the Young , except that it turns out he wrote many more such pieces than he initially published. Here, Rodriguez plays 21 such short pieces, which range in length from 18 seconds to two minutes and 40 seconds. He also plays the well-known “Wilder Reiter” in a version with a different ending than we are used to. The additional pieces begin with a bird call: It is subtitled “Cuckoo in Hiding.” It is followed by a playful uptempo piece in which the hands pursue each other. It’s meant to evoke a game of tag. In the midst of these charming program works are tributes to composers Handel, Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, and Schubert. For the Handel tribute, Schumann has simply arranged the theme known as The Harmonious Blacksmith, a piece so well known in the 19th century that Dickens jokingly mentions it in Great Expectations. The disc ends with an Albumblatt, a piece of music whose title Ahnung is translated as “foreboding.” This two-and-a-half-minute piece was only rediscovered in 2007. It is a restless piece played placidly by Rodriguez.


Although it contains no towering masterpieces, this disc with its fine renditions of little-known (at least to me) Schumann should appeal to many listeners.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

1. Marches (4) for Piano, Op. 76 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
2. Klavierstücke (7) in the form of Fugues, Op. 126 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
3. Fugues (4) for Piano, Op. 72 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Germany 
4. Album für die Jugend, Op. 68: Supplement by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Germany 
5. Album für die Jugend, Op. 68: no 8, Wilder Reiter by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rodriguez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Germany 

Sound Samples

4 Marches, Op. 76: No. 1 in E flat major: Mit grosster Energie
4 Marches, Op. 76: No. 2 in G minor: Sehr kraftig
4 Marches, Op. 76: No. 3 in B flat major, "Lager Scene": Sehr massig
4 Marches, Op. 76: No. 4 in E flat major: Mit kraft und feuer
4 Fugen, Op. 72: No. 1. Nicht schnell
4 Fugen, Op. 72: No. 2. Sehr lebhaft
4 Fugen, Op. 72: No. 3. Nicht schnell und sehr ausdrucksvoll
4 Fugen, Op. 72: No. 4. Im massigen Tempo
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
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68, Part I: Fur Kleinere: No. 8. Wilder Reiter (Wild Horseman) (alternative version)
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 9. Gukkuk im Versteck
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 10. Haschemann
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 13. *** (Walzer)
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 14. Lagune in Venedig
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 1. Auf der Gondel
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 3. Barentanz
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 6. Fur ganz Kleine
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 11. ***
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 15. Linke Hand, soll sich auch zeigen
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 16. *** (Praludium)
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 17. Puppenschlafliedchen
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 18. Rebus
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 19. Ein Thema von Georg Friedrich Handel
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 20. Ein Stuckchen von Johann Sebastian Bach
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 21. [Ein Stuckchen von Gluck]
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 24. Ein Stuckchen von Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 25. [Ein Stuckchen von Ludwig van Beethoven]
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 26. Ein Trinklied von Carl Maria von Weber
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 27. Eine beruhmte Melodie von Ludwig van Beethoven
Album fur die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op. 68: Supplement: Anh. No. 29. Ein Landler von Franz Schubert
Ahnung

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