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Posted By: andrewp must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 01:38 PM
I have a thing going with the piano music of Schumann at the moment - both to play and to listen to.

I currently have - to listen to - a 4cd set by Kempff, Richter playing the Fantasie in C, Papillons and Faschingschwank, Michelangeli playing Carnival and Faschingschwank and a nice 2cd set by Yuri Egurov.

What are the must have Schumann piano recordings I need to add to my collection. Horowitz? Haskil? Cortot? Others?

Thanks for tips.
Posted By: matthewpiano Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 02:11 PM
Brendel's recording of the Fantasy (Philips) is a must - some beautiful playing here - as is the 6d set of Arrau's Schumann recordings.

Horowitz made a beautiful recording of the Kinderscenen which is well worth looking out, as is the one made by Cortot.

One of the pieces you haven't mentioned yet is the incredible 'Kreisleriana'. Its incredibly challenging but very fulfilling to play (I've done it a few times in recital) and has been beautifully recorded by Horowitz. The other recording I love is the Kempff one (although I'm not normally a fan) which you should have in your 4cd set (is it the DG one?).

There is also a lovely recording of Richter playing the Waldscenen on DG.

For the Schumann concerto I'd opt for Arrau, Perahia or Lipatti.
Posted By: matthewpiano Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 02:28 PM
Oh, and this 4cd set - Andante records catalogue no. 1964:

Robert Schumann – Piano Music

Variations on the Name "Abegg" in F major, Op. 1

Clara Haskil (piano)
Paris, Polydor Studios 4 April 1938



Papillons, Introduction and 12 pieces, Op. 2

Alfred Cortot (piano)
London, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road 4 July 1935


Presto passionato in G minor, WoO 5, No. 2

Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
London, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road 15 November 1932



Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 (including 5 Variations Op. posth.)

Alfred Cortot (piano)
London, Small Queen's Hall 6 & 19 March 1929


Carnaval in A-flat major, Op. 9

Sergei Rachmaninoff (piano)
New York, Victor Studios 9, 10 & 12 April 1929



Carnaval in A-flat major, Op. 9

Leopold Godowsky (piano)
London, Portman Rooms 28 (1/11) & 29 (12/20) May 1929



Fantasie in C major, Op. 17

Edwin Fischer (piano)
London, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road 31 May 1949



Fantasiestucke, Op. 12, No. 1–3

Yves Nat (piano)
Paris, Studio Albert 12 March 1937



"Traumeswirren," Fantasiestuck, Op. 12, No. 7

Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
London, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road 15 November 1932



Davidsbundlertanze, Op. 6

Walter Gieseking (piano)
Berlin, Funkhaus, Studio No. 1 13 September 1947



Kreisleriana, Op. 16

Claudio Arrau (piano)
New York, Columbia Studios · 16 December 1946



Kinderszenen, Op. 15

Yves Nat (piano)
Paris, Studio Albert · 17 October 1930



Arabeske, Op. 18

Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
London, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road · 6 May 1934
Source: HMV DA1381 Matrix: 0B 6722-3, 6723-4



Arabeske, Op. 18

Claudio Arrau (piano)
New York, Columbia Studios · 15 August 1947



Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26

Magda Tagliaferro (piano)
Paris, Studio Albert · 19 July 1934



Romanze, Op. 28, No. 2 in F-sharp major

Magda Tagliaferro (piano)

Paris, Studio Albert · 20 July 1934



Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26

Yves Nat (piano)
Paris, Studio Albert · 10 June 1938



Waldszenen, Op. 82

Clara Haskil (piano)
London, Decca Studios · 18 October 1947



"Vogel als Prophet" from Waldszenen

Alfred Cortot (piano)
London, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road · 19 April 1948



This unique 4-CD set presents the piano works of Robert Schumann in interpretations by some of the 20th century's greatest keyboard virtuosos. Ranging from 1928 to 1949, the performances include both Sergei Rachmaninoff and Leopold Godowsky in Carnaval, Alfred Cortot in Papillons and the Symphonic Etudes, Walter Gieseking in Davidsbundlertanze, Vladimir Horowitz in the Arabeske and "Traumeswirren," and more. Lovers of Romantic piano music will find a feast in this historic collection, which presents an unprecedented panorama of Schumann interpretation. The 96-page booklet features vintage photos of the performers, as well as an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winner Tim Page, an insightful essay by American writer Stephen Wigler ("Schumann: A History Through Recordings") and artist biographies from The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Posted By: pianojerome Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 02:32 PM
Quote
Originally posted by matthewpiano:
For the Schumann concerto I'd opt for Arrau, Perahia or Lipatti.
How about Richter for the concerto? I would also recommend Arrau. (Unfortunately I haven't heard any others - just Arrau and Richter.)
Posted By: Lemon Pledge Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 03:26 PM
Rachmaninoff's Carnaval is superb.

I'll second the recommendation for Horowitz's Kreisleriana, noting that he recorded it twice, in 1969 and 1985, I believe. The earlier version is far superior.

However, my favorite recording of a Schumann piano work is William Masselos's performance of the Davidsbundler, which is simply astounding in its imaginative range, its integration of neurosis and tenderness, and its beauty of tone. I don't know whether it's available on CD.
Posted By: matthewpiano Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 03:33 PM
The earlier 1969 recording of Kreisleriana by Horowitz is indeed superior to the late DG recording he made, and its available as part of the excellent 'Original Jackets Collection' Vladimir Horowitz set which consists of 10 discs in all, featuring some astounding playing from the great man's best years. (There is a similar OJC set of Glenn Gould's Bach which is also superb).
Posted By: andrewp Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 03:50 PM
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

I've heard about the Arrau Schumann set for Philips, but unfortunately I am not sure this is still available, at least at a reasonable price. I like Arrau very much.

The Horowitz recordings are - I shall investigate these.

Forgot to mention I have Argerich doing Kreisleriana and Kinderszenen, and Lupu playing Humoreske, Kinderszenen and Kreisleriana - though I am not particularly a fan of either recording.
Posted By: jazzyd Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 04:51 PM
I would recommend Fiorentino for the concerto. I think this was the first piano record I owned, and I've never heard a performance I prefer.
Posted By: kluurs Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 05:02 PM
No arguments on any of the suggestions - though one addition for the concerto - Rubinstein with the Chicago Symphony.

I loved Arrau with the Symphonic Etudes. Horowitz really owns Kreisleriana - and the Sony version is the one to have. Variations on Clara Wieck's theme - again Horowitz.

Ken
Posted By: Mr. E Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/16/06 08:51 PM
Quote
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Quote
Originally posted by matthewpiano:
[b] For the Schumann concerto I'd opt for Arrau, Perahia or Lipatti.
How about Richter for the concerto? I would also recommend Arrau. (Unfortunately I haven't heard any others - just Arrau and Richter.) [/b]
I'll wholeheartedly second Richter and Lipatti. I've also enjoyed listening to Zimerman's, but I don't see it mentioned too much.

I love how the 2nd movement ends and transitions into the 3rd.
Posted By: Hofmanniac Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/17/06 03:41 AM
Fiorentino for Carnaval, kinderszenen, fantasie and concerto. Lipatti's concerto. Richter for Faschingschwank, Symphonique etudes. Rachmaninoff's carnaval. Kissin, Gilels for Symphonique etudes. Hofmann's Kreisleriana.
Posted By: andrewp Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/18/06 09:43 AM
Dear all,
thanks for your suggestions. I'll be ordering the Horowitz on amazon.co.uk marketplace in a few minutes. And I'll try some more Richter when I buy my next month's allowance of cds!
Posted By: Dave Spelvin Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/18/06 03:23 PM
I'll chime in with the most recent Pollini recordings, which I like a lot. As you might guess, he plays with tremendous power.
Posted By: TS Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/18/06 06:53 PM
Nelson Freire is a wonderful Schumann interpreter, and a wayyyyy too over neglected pianist of the last century.
Posted By: bluemountain Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/18/06 06:59 PM
I would recommend Sofronitsky's recordings. They are beautiful.
Posted By: TheMadMan86 Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/18/06 08:36 PM
i hate to say it but schumann is nothing compared to the music of chopin
Posted By: yok Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/19/06 12:43 AM
"i hate to say it but schumann is nothing compared to the music of chopin"

I hate being wrong too.

Among the many interesting recommendations I don't think anyone has suggested a Bunte Blatter. Richter made a famous recording of them but I have just discovered Arcadi Volodos's performance in his Carnegie Hall recital. It's just spellbinding playing, and the rest of the CD is not too bad either.
Posted By: andrewp Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/19/06 10:50 AM
Many people might agree, but I am personally just not a huge Chopin fan and his music just does not speak to me in the same way. Incidentally I have huge problems playing Chopin in a way that sounds natural!
Posted By: Brendan Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/19/06 02:29 PM
Get Horowitz's live performance of the Fantasy at Carnegie Hall, it's an astonishing reading.
Posted By: Antonius Hamus Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/19/06 02:29 PM
I don't know why, but I've recently begun to prefer Schumann (or some of it) to Chopin. Maybe it'll pass, who knows... In any case, Brendel's 1997 Philips recording of the Fantasy in C is indeed fine, as implied earlier. That, along with Kreisleriana, and an absolutely wonderful recording of Liszt's Totentanz (and some other stuff), can be found on this recent release:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BYNC1Y/
Posted By: N.S. Canzano ^_^ Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/19/06 09:45 PM
I LOVE Schumann.

I don't like his piano music ironically enough though, lol.

But: The Concerto, of course, the Piano Trio, and

non-piano: Symphonies 1, 3, and 4. and THE MANFRED OVERTURE
Posted By: Anima Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/19/06 10:14 PM
His Fantasy in C must be one of my favourite pieces ever, Horowitz's rec in Carnegie Hall ('65 comeback recital) is also one of my favourite recs ever, the one Brendan mentioned. Simply awesome music, played with the awesomeness it deserves.


Lipatti & Fiorentino for the concerto, btw wink .

If you're looking for some good Schumann to explore, get Kempff's Schumann box, it's really good.
Posted By: Bill Finn Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/20/06 04:38 AM
Two pieces I have worked on now and again are the Papillons and Forest Scenes. Anyone know of good recordings of the latter by the way? Also about Papillons, has anyone heard the Licad recording?
Is it good?

I don't really have any firm recommendations. I think Schumann's piano works either deceptively simple or deceptively difficult. Often both at the same time. Problems of balance and phrasing are compounded with sometimes awkward hand positions.

The concerto has had many fine recordings. I like the Serkin/Ormandy and the Cliburn/Reiner along with a number of others mentioned here.
Posted By: andrewp Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/20/06 11:04 AM
Kempff and Richter are both very good in the Papillons - Kempff the more poetic, Richter the more powerful.

As a big Kempff fan, I really think he nails the Waldszenen in his DG recording.

The Richter 'Waldszenen' on DG - I don't know these - are also said to be very good; as is the Haskil recording on Philips. Both are actually on my list for the future...
Posted By: Nina Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/20/06 03:31 PM
My favorite Kreisleriana is Youri Egorov's. IMO, it sounds exactly like it should--full of passion, almost out of control, fast, dynamic.
Posted By: andrewp Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/20/06 03:37 PM
I like the Egourov set too. Someone mentioned the 'Bunte Blaetter' which are not so much played. Egouov does these very well indeed.

Of the 'Bunte Blaetter' (op99) I really love the 'Marsch'. It is a funeral march basically and the main section is absolutely exquisite with its shifts from minor to major and back.

Mind you, the 'trio' section is a little incongruent in its jauntiness - as if the corpse gets out of the coffin to perform a little jig.
Posted By: Nina Re: must-have Schumann? - 01/20/06 04:36 PM
Thanks, andrewp-- I'll try to find those.

What a loss when Egourov died so young. He was such a brilliant pianist. I like the fact that he was willing to sacrifice "pretty" for passion when necessary. Dare I say it, very testosterone-driven playing, in a good way.

OTOH, he could also pile on the passion and beauty when necessary.
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