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Hyperion Records

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Woman at dawn by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67885
Recording details: August 2011
Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: July 2012
Total duration: 15 minutes 44 seconds

'There's so much beauty, subtlety and originality in Hewitt's first movement [Concerto] … the two rarer works for piano and orchestra are a treat—especially the Introduction and Concert-Allegro, Op 134 … Hewitt and Lintu give its recurrent falling sixth a wonderful, sensual scrunchiness … this recording should be applauded for its passion, detail, courage and commitment' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Hewitt's perfect handling of the breathtakingly lovely opening of the Introduction & Allegro appassionato would melt the hardest of hearts' (The Observer)

'The sense of joy that infallibly emanates from Angela Hewitt's piano playing is fully evident here … Hewitt is Clara Schumann's natural heir' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Hewitt [is] on sparkling form. She is matched at every turn by Lintu, who draws the finest playing from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin … Hewitt's playing is so lively and joyful' (International Record Review)

'Clara Schumann, such a pianistic prodigy, was the insipration for many of her husband's works … but the Piano Concerto is the greatest of all, full of intimacy and proud bravura, and Angela Hewitt comes very close … to pulling off a definitive account of what this music is all about. Her pianism has clarity, weighting and deft articulation, complemented by Hannu Lintu's Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin's response' (Birmingham Post)

'The concerto is given a graceful, expressive and supple performance in which tales are told and it's blessed with a lively accompaniment from Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, sympathetically conducted by Hannu Lintu. The sound is excellent too—immediate, well balanced and vividly detailed … this is a handsome package of delicious romanticism' (Time Out)

Introduction and Allegro appassionato, Op 92
September 1849; first performed in Leipzip in February 1850 by Clara Schumann

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
It’s curious that Schumann’s writing for piano and orchestra seems to have occurred about every four years: the Phantasy in 1841; the remainder of the Piano Concerto in 1845; and the two separate pieces for piano and orchestra in 1849 and 1853 respectively. The Introduction and Allegro appassionato, Op 92, was sketched in just two days in September 1849, and the full score finished a week later. Clara got her hands on it right away, but at its premiere the following February in Leipzig she wasn’t feeling well and it was a flop. The second performance in Düsseldorf a month later, with her husband conducting, was a resounding success. Still, it remained neglected for some time, which is a pity because the magical introduction alone makes it worth hearing. Schumann was immersed in Byron’s dramatic poem Manfred at the time (resulting in his Manfred Overture), and some of its urgent despair can also be heard in the opening theme of the Allegro. At one point the theme of the introduction returns in B major in a passage that, if you were to hear it by itself, would make you think of Brahms.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2012

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