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Hyperion Records

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Mystic (2004) by Magdolna Bán (b1940)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA68030
Recording details: March 2013
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2014
Total duration: 19 minutes 47 seconds

'In Hamelin's latest disc of music by Janáček and Schumann, he shows himself a virtuoso in a deeper sense, a virtuoso in sound, colour and poetic empathy, one who, to quote Liszt, ‘breathes the breath of life’. Using his prodigious command in music of a transcendental difficulty—the Chopin-Godowsky Études, the major works of Alkan, Albéniz’s Iberia, etc—he displays gifts which show him as first and foremost a musician’s musician' (Gramophone) » More

'Setting aside a 2000 Danacord release featuring four movements from the first book of On the Overgrown Path, this is Marc-André Hamelin’s first extended exploration of Janáček's piano music. It proves to be a totally compelling experience confirming Hamelin’s strong empathy for the composer … Hamelin negotiates the emotional trajectory from carefree innocence to utter dejection through a masterly control of timbre and atmosphere. Deceptively simple melodic and chordal figurations are subverted as a result of Hamelin’s deliberately introverted playing and astonishingly delicate touch … he proves to be equally adept at exploring the more intimate side of the Schumann’s character and the two Schumann cycles here are absolutely magical' (BBC Music Magazine) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING

Kinderszenen, Op 15
composer
1838

Hasche-Mann  [0'33]
Bittendes Kind  [1'08]
Glückes genug  [1'12]
Träumerei  [2'51]
Am Kamin  [0'54]
Fast zu ernst  [1'56]
Fürchtenmachen  [1'36]

Other recordings available for download
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Alfred Cortot (piano)
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Friedrich Wieck was, as Schumann discovered, the father-in-law from hell. He so opposed the burgeoning relationship between the composer and his precious daughter—eight years Robert’s junior yet, one imagines, quite feisty enough to know her own mind—that he did everything in his power to break things up between them, from taking Clara on a seven-month concert tour to fighting the engagement in the law courts. As history relates, his efforts came to nothing, and love triumphed. While apart during that long tour in 1838, Robert and Clara wrote constantly to one other, and from Schumann streamed a succession of piano works, not least Kinderszenen, the most touching recollection of childhood. As he wrote to Clara, ‘Perhaps it was an echo of what you once said to me, that “Sometimes I seemed like a child”; anyway, I was suddenly visited by inspiration, and then I knocked off about thirty quaint little things, from which I have selected about twelve … You will enjoy them—though you will have to forget you are a virtuoso.’ When Kinderszenen was published the final tally of pieces was thirteen.

‘Knocked off’ hardly does these pieces justice; despite being modest in dimensions, each piece is as deftly and exquisitely crafted as anything in his more outwardly sophisticated mode. And though certain numbers may be simple enough for a reasonably talented child to play (or at least to stumble through) most are not, as witness the wildly exuberant ‘Knight of the hobbyhorse’ (Ritter vom Steckenpferd) or the manically gleeful ‘Blind man’s buff’ (Hasche-Mann). Among the most touching portraits here are the ‘Pleading child’ (Bittendes Kind), quietly insistent but ending, like the ‘Child falling asleep’ (Kind im Einschlummern), without resolution, tenderly catching the emotional inconsistency of youth. And Schumann conceives it beautifully as a cycle, from the haunting beauty of the opening ‘From foreign lands and people’ (Von fremden Ländern und Menschen), via the spare eloquence of the central ‘Dreaming’ (Träumerei), to the quiet rhetoric of ‘The poet speaks’ (Der Dichter spricht), the subject holding his audience rapt, his soliloquy ending in a whisper at the lower end of the keyboard.

from notes by Harriet Smith © 2014


Other albums featuring this work
'Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 1 – 1947 Schumann, Chopin & Debussy' (APR5571)
Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 1 – 1947 Schumann, Chopin & Debussy
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5571  Download only  
'Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann' (APR5586)
Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5586  Download only  
'Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Kinderszenen, Sonata No 2' (CDA67780)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Kinderszenen, Sonata No 2
'A Matthay Miscellany – Rare and unissued recordings by Tobias Matthay and his pupils' (APR6014)
A Matthay Miscellany – Rare and unissued recordings by Tobias Matthay and his pupils
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR6014  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  

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