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Schumann: Music for Cello and Piano / Isserlis, Várjon

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Phantasiestucke (3) for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 73
>Schumann, Robert : Adagio and Allegro for Cello and Piano in A flat major, Op. 70
>Schumann, Robert : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in A minor, WoO 27
>Schumann, Robert : Pieces (12) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 85
>Schumann, Robert : Romances (3) for Oboe and Piano, Op. 94
>Schumann, Robert : Stucke im Volkston (5) for cello (or violin) & piano, Op. 102
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Cellist Steven Isserlis' own words give the background to this fascinating disc as he states, "There is no composer to whom I feel closer than to Schumann. He has been a beloved friend since I was a child; I remain as fascinated today as I was then by his unique blend of poetry, ecstatic strength and confessional intimacy." Schumann's affection for the cello ran deep. It was an instrument he had played in his youth, and considered taking up again when, at the age of twenty-two, an accident to his hand forced him to relinquish his dream of being a virtuoso pianist. His love for the instrument is clearly demonstrated by the cello parts in all four of his symphonies, as well as in the concertos for piano and violin, and of course throughout his chamber music.

'Could this be his best recording yet? ... [Fantasiestucke] The music 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)

'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] It sets the seal on one of Isserlis's finest discs' (International Record Review)

'[Violin Sonata] This fabulously virtuosic and psychologically complex work 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)

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

'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)

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



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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Phantasiestücke (3) for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 73
  • Performers: Steven Isserlis (Cello); Dénes Várjon (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (06/28/2008-06/30/2008)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1849

>Schumann, Robert : Adagio and Allegro for Cello and Piano in A flat major, Op. 70
  • Performers: Steven Isserlis (Cello); Dénes Várjon (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (06/28/2008-06/30/2008)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1849

>Schumann, Robert : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in A minor, WoO 27
  • Performers: Steven Isserlis (Cello); Dénes Várjon (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (06/28/2008-06/30/2008)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1853

>Schumann, Robert : Pieces (12) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 85 :: 12. Abendlied
  • Performers: Steven Isserlis (Cello); Dénes Várjon (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (06/28/2008-06/30/2008)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1849

>Schumann, Robert : Romances (3) for Oboe and Piano, Op. 94
  • Performers: Steven Isserlis (Cello); Dénes Várjon (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (06/28/2008-06/30/2008)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1849

>Schumann, Robert : Stücke im Volkston (5) for cello (or violin) & piano, Op. 102
  • Performers: Steven Isserlis (Cello); Dénes Várjon (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (06/28/2008-06/30/2008)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1849