Thursday, April 26, 2012

Schumann: Piano Works

Robert Schumann (Composer)

Piotr Anderszewski (Piano)

Audio CD (2010)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Virgin Classics 948625-2

Every record by this vivid and compulsive pianist is cause for celebration, for argument and point-counter-point. Never one to follow a conventional path, Anderszewski makes Schumann entirely his own while at the same time highlighting the composer’s essentially schizophrenic nature. Everything is seen through a novel perspective or prism with a rare ability to read between the lines.
In the Humoreske Anderszewski opens with a sophisticated alternative to Schumann’s semplice marking, an elaborate easing into a basic pulse or tempo, and the contrast between Florestan and Eusebius – the composer’s two most dearly cherished fictions – could hardly be more bold or arresting. Voicing is intricate and audacious, with mood-swings captured as if in the first fever of creation. The Innig con intimo expressione after Einfach und zart (with its central carillon of bells) commences in a barely audible whisper before a sudden blaze of sound, and each section is backed by a razor-sharp technique and articulacy.
Unlike the Humoreske, Opp 56 and 133 may not be vintage Schumann but again the playing is so persuasive that you are made to hang on every note. Op 56 comes in the pianist’s own arrangement and includes music (No 5) weird and wonderful even by Schumann’s standards; almost as if an army of trolls had invaded the studio. No 3 from the Gesänge der Frühe is disappointing with its obsessive Alkanesque dotted rhythm yet, once more, everything is played to the hilt. There are long pauses between each work where the listener is allowed to take his breath and recover from the impact of such pungent characterisation, and Virgin’s sound captures all of Anderszewski’s drama and crystalline brilliance. 
Bryce Morrison

FLAC - 168 MB


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