Hyperion Records

Waldszenen, Op 82

'Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen; Janáček: On the overgrown path I' (CDA68030)
Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen; Janáček: On the overgrown path I
CDA68030  June 2014 Release  
'Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 2 – Franck, 'encores' & Debussy' (APR5572)
Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 2 – Franck, 'encores' & Debussy
'Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952' (APR6011)
Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 APR6011  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Myra Hess – The complete solo and concerto studio recordings' (APR7504)
Myra Hess – The complete solo and concerto studio recordings
No 1: Eintritt
Track 11 on CDA68030 [2'28] June 2014 Release
No 2: Jäger auf der Lauer
Track 12 on CDA68030 [1'25] June 2014 Release
No 3: Einsame Blumen
Track 13 on CDA68030 [2'25] June 2014 Release
No 4: Verrufene Stelle
Track 14 on CDA68030 [2'42] June 2014 Release
No 5: Freundliche Landschaft
Track 15 on CDA68030 [1'10] June 2014 Release
No 6: Herberge
Track 16 on CDA68030 [2'07] June 2014 Release
No 7: Vogel als Prophet
No 8: Jagdlied
Track 18 on CDA68030 [2'25] June 2014 Release
No 9: Abschied
Track 19 on CDA68030 [4'07] June 2014 Release

Waldszenen, Op 82
Schumann’s Waldszenen (‘Forest scenes’) is a cycle of fragments, written in a matter of days over New Year, 1849; it was his last major cycle for solo piano. The forest that it explores was a subject close to the heart of any self-respecting Romantic, be they writer, poet, artist or musician. Its appeal lay in its contrast: nature at its most beautiful but also an unknowable place. But there’s more to it than that, for it is not simply about ‘nature’ per se but the notion of man’s position within that wilderness, and indeed how engagement with such a thing could in turn affect man’s own view of himself; the external as a means of examining the internal, in other words. Certainly, in Waldszenen this is no objective foray into the woods but a very personal reaction to this imagined landscape; and equally striking is the sense that each piece represents just a shard of a larger experience, an aural snapshot, if you will.

On the whole it is the more bucolic aspect that Schumann explores, though these pieces are not without darker shadows. And while they may be technically fairly straightforward, their changeability calls for the quickest of reactions and a wealth of subtle nuance.

All seems well in the first number (Eintritt, ‘Entry’), its gently murmuring theme welcoming us into the forest in the most benign manner possible. The energetic Jäger auf der Lauer (‘Hunters on the lookout’), horn calls aplenty, gives the lie to the idea that Schumann—beset by personal demons by this point in his life—had lost his compositional way, and there’s a delightful mock-seriosity to the throwaway ending. The mood switches again in the next two pieces, Einsame Blumen (‘Lonely flowers’) and Verrufene Stelle (‘Place of evil fame’), tinged in turn by sadness and then a persistent unease that is only banished by the rollicking Freundliche Landschaft (‘Friendly landscape’), which is followed by a study in consolation and reassurance, Herberge (‘Shelter’). With No 7, the famous Vogel als Prophet (‘Bird as prophet’), Schumann seems to reach almost proto-Impressionistic realms, its central chorale-like section lending it an almost sacred gravitas. We return to compositionally safer, more pastoral territory with Jagdlied (‘Hunting song’), which presents an image of the play of horses’ hooves and the jolly red coats of the hunstmen, a notably child-friendly vision. With Abschied (‘Farewell’), the innocence of the opening seems to be regained as we bid the forest a poignant farewell.

from notes by Harriet Smith © 2014

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for APR5572 track 4
Vogel als Prophet
Recording date
19 April 1948
Recording venue
Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
   English   Français   Deutsch