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Schumann: Humoreske, etc / Angela Hewitt

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Piano Soanta in F sharp minor, Op. 11
>Schumann, Robert : Humoreske for piano in B flat major, Op. 20
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In the concert hall, Angela Hewitt's recent Schumann performances were hailed for their "urgency, jubilation, and introspection" (The Daily Telegraph). Now for the first time she has recorded two of the composer's greatest piano works for Hyperion. To his beloved Clara, Robert Schumann (1810-1856) described the 'Piano Sonata No.1 in F sharp minor' as "a cry from my heart to yours." From the work's arresting first bars to the ensuing bounce of the "Allegro Vivace" and right through to the majestic finale, Clara's imprint is on every page - an influence that Angela Hewitt traces in some detail in the accompanying essay.

'The clarity of line is a Hewitt hallmark. It is present through the buzzing Allegro vivace, passing from right hand to left and back with seamless fluency, and it soars with the most delicate lightness through the Aria ... Hewitt's Scherzo explodes with rhythm ... the crushed notes are flashing sparks that might ignite. The Finale almost tumbles over itself with key-changes, expression and dynamics, but Hewitt contains all in a lover's embrace ... It is as if genius has stepped out of its trance. This is joyful and exuberant play ... A compelling Schumann player' (Classic FM Magazine *****)

'Her technical control remains as poised as ever, but Hewitt pushes much harder at the margins of the expressive world that directs it ... In the often problematic F sharp minor Sonata, Hewitt is unreservedly superb, making the music cohere formally without ever undervaluing its flights of lyrical fantasy. For her the slow movement is the emotional heart of the whole sonata, but she is equally impressive in the rangy finale too, boldly characterising its component parts yet always conveying the sense of an organic whole' (The Guardian)

'Angela Hewitt's seemingly effortless but always adventurous interpretations ... Her poise and amplitude lend it an unearthly beauty ... She holds our attention as no other pianist has, in my experience, quite managed in the giant rondo of a finale ... Handsome in fortissimo and mesmerising in sotto voce, the piano range is well served by Hyperion's Italian-based recording' (BBC Music Magazine *****)

'As ever with this pianist, we get playing that is thoughtful, thought-provoking, finely finished and intricantly nuanced. She imbues the opening movement of the sonata with a sure sense of structure and pace, and finds more energy than many of her rivals in the Scherzo' (Gramophone)

'Hewitt's recordings are self-sufficient without the need for comparisons, but her Schumann sonata can hold its own against Maurizio Pollini's impressive 1973 version ... The best possible way to make its acquaintance' (International Record Review)

'Her command of the keyboard is, as always, breathtaking ... When Hewitt tackles composers that call forth her special talents, she has few equals' (Fanfare, USA)

'This is very superior playing indeed: an object lesson in pianistic refinement, tonal expressive and psychological imagination, and musicianship of the highest order. Hewitt's tonal palette is vast, exceptionally controlled and never indulged for its own sake ... The tenderness and luminosity of tone in the slow movement of the sonata are quite haunting in thier immediacy - indeed that immediacy is amongst the hallmarks of the whole recording, be it haunting, jubilant, playful, morbid, dramatic or any of the other emotions and spiritual atmospheres that Schumann traverses almost as a matter of course' (Piano Magazine)

'Hewitt's highly personal performances demonstrate a sure grasp of character. Her deep understanding of the music's beauties, quirks, and pitfalls makes for a most compelling listening experience' (American Record Guide)

'Dos jóvenes pianistas aparecen en el horizonte del siglo XXI. Sin duda la antigua escuela de los Brendel, Lupu, etc. tiene difícil sustitución, pero un nuevo pianismo se presenta con estos nuevos artistas; un toque pulido, claro, buena técnica y no demasiado fervor, tratando a los genios románticos con cierta distancia, aliados con su calidad sin que su expresión empañe el discurso. Así parece expresarlo Angela Hewitt que propone dos muestras significativas y atractivas: Humoreske de Schumannn y, por otro lado, el monumento de El clave bien temperado de Bach, con cuidados legatos y una sonoridad homogénea' (La Vanguardia, Spain)


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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Piano Soanta in F sharp minor, Op. 11
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Cultural Centre, Grand Hotel, Dobbiaco, Italy (03/16/2007-03/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1833-1835

>Schumann, Robert : Humoreske for piano in B flat major, Op. 20
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Cultural Centre, Grand Hotel, Dobbiaco, Italy (03/16/2007-03/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1839