Notes and Editorial Reviews
SCHUMANN Piano Sonata No. 2. CHOPIN Piano Sonata No. 3 • Grace Nikae (pn) • TEMPORA 884502-09657-6 (43:34)
"The second disc suffers severely from short-time syndrome—surely something else could have been added without wrecking the concept? But I do understand what Nikae is doing here. Schumann loved the music of Chopin, almost a mirror image of the more eccentric and overbearing Liszt, and he also had his moments of introverted suffering and emotional catharsis that is best suited to the individual characteristics of the solo piano, though I disagree vehemently with the notes, which seem to indicate Schumann as primarily a piano composer like Chopin. Truthfully, I don’t see a lot of connection with Schumann and
Chopin stylistically or even temperamentally; Chopin was the supreme lyricist of the keyboard, rhapsodizing about life in general and his own personal apprehension of melodic impulse. Schumann on the other hand was the one constantly trying to resolve philosophical concepts in his music, setting personage against personage who would take turns arguing, dialectically, until one unseats the other with the (sometimes) last word.
But in this case it must be admitted that these two sonatas have much in common. Chopin finished his about six years after Schumann put the “first” finishing touches on his work. Chopin’s Third is very lyrical, and perhaps a little more structured than his Second, a criticism that he evidently took to heart. Schumann’s version of sonata form changed little over the course of his sonatas even though his supercharged melodic and harmonic schemes often belie the idea of the sonata itself. In these two works we have a highly volatile and almost manic passion that explores the outer reaches of the usually self-contained Chopin, while Schumann skirts the very idea of what can be contained. In both cases the music is very similar in its uncontrolled sensibilities and very visceral sense of the turning inside-out of two musical souls. Nikae seems to sense this abandonment of all things controlled and conventional and really lets the sparks fly in two superbly groomed readings.
The sound is wonderful...[this] certainly bode[s] well for her future endeavors. Great stuff."
FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
Works on This Recording
Sonata for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22 by Robert Schumann
Grace Nikae (Piano)
Written: 1833-1838; Germany
Venue: Conservatorio de Música Victoria de Los
Length: 16 Minutes 57 Secs.
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