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Hyperion Records

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The Flight into Egypt (detail) (1609) by Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610)
Track(s) taken from CDA67661
Recording details: June 2008
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: March 2009
Total duration: 8 minutes 53 seconds

'A disc that all Schumann lovers will want to own' (BBC Radio 3 CD Review)

'Could this be his best recording yet? … [Fantasiestucke] has a wonderfully considered and luxuriant aspect; the results never sound contrived. That's partly to do with Isserlis's sound, which has a very focused centre to it, but also his utterly intimate relationship with pianist Dénes Várjon. Perhaps the most ravishing item on the disc is the poignant Abendlied … in his hands it's as moving a wordless Lied as anything you could imagine … for all that Isserlis has made many wonderful recordings, not least his seminal Bach suites, I think this might just be his finest yet' (Gramophone)

'This fabulously virtuosic and psychologically complex work [Violin Sonata] forces Isserlis's musicianship up to a new level … Isserlis masters its explosive flourishes and has the vital impetus to manke an eccentric work feel whole' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This music sings and soars, flying to the instrument's highest reaches with dreamy eloquence and a sense of rightness … he plays with fierceness and soul' (The Observer)

'Enhanced by glowingly intimate sound from Andrew Keener and Simon Eadon, Isserlis constantly draws us in with playing of gentle radiance and exquisite nuancing … [Violin Sonata] sets the seal on one of Isserlis's finest discs' (International Record Review)

'The whole programme is a delight, as both artists catch the music's poetic ebb and flow to perfection' (The Sunday Times)

Adagio and Allegro for cello and piano, Op 70
February 1849; originally for horn and piano; published with alternative versions for violin or cello; Schumann's first title was Romance and Allegro

Adagio  [4'17]
Allegro  [4'36]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Composed just a couple of days after the Fantasiestücke, the Adagio and Allegro, originally called Romance and Allegro, represents Schumann in love-song mode. The tenderness of the Adagio, followed by the ecstatic happiness of the Allegro, shows Schumann at his most romantic. And that is as romantic as music can be!

from notes by Steven Isserlis © 2009

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