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Schumann: Paganini Caprices, Opp. 3 & 10; Humoresque, Op. 20 / Mariya Kim, piano

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Etudes (6) after Caprices of Paganini for piano, Op. 3
>Schumann, Robert : Concert Etudes (6) after Caprices of Paganini, for piano, Op. 10
>Schumann, Robert : Humoreske for piano in B flat major, Op. 20
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Robert Schumann's Studien and Konzert-Etüden transform Paganini's violin Caprices into stunningly virtuoso pieces for piano. Containing the hidden 'voice' of his beloved Clara, the Humoreske, Op. 20 is filled with contrasts Schumann expressed as "composing and writing and laughing and crying, all at the same time". Ukrainian pianist Mariya Kim has gained global recognition through prizes including the Horowitz, Paderewski and China Shenzhen International Piano Competitions and the Seoul and José Iturbi International Music Competitions. Her achievements have also brought her a Yamaha Foundation Award.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Mariya Kim's biography boasts an impressive list of accomplishments. She performs both sets of caprices with effortless dexterity and a good sense of contrast. Her brilliant runs and arpeggios in Op. 3:1 astounded me. Pieces with fast rhythms and explosive virtuosity are well suited to her style. In Op. 3:2, she is attentive to subtle dynamics and lovely phrasing. She infuses Op. 3:6 with dramatic intensity. Op. 10, more elaborate and technically demanding than Op. 3, is full of color and character. I would also have preferred a more understated, tender approach to the first section of the Humoreske: Kim plays it at a faster tempo than either Vladimir Horowitz or Uhlig. Still, I was pleased with how Kim brought out different textures. The sound quality of the recording complements her wonderful clarity of touch and dynamic range. Solid accomplishment.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (12/10/2009-12/12/2009).



Reviews

Amazing piano playing!
This CD consists of Paganini Caprices from Op. 3 and Op. 10, as well as Humoreske, Op. 20, performed by Mariya Kim. Ms. Kim was awarded 1st prize in the 2008 Seoul International Music Competition, and she shows right from the onset that she has “chops”. As anyone familiar with the Paganini violin Caprices knows, these are non-trivial works, and Robert Schuman’s transformation of these pieces into virtuosic piano pieces is similarly non-trivial.

Op.3 is first on the recording, and Caprice No. 1 jumps right out and grabs the listener and (in my case) makes him go, “Wow…”. And No. 2 is beautiful. No. 4 is particularly interesting, as the primary rhythm is driving and propels the piece forward. No. 6 is also extremely enjoyable, and the genius of the melody is certainly complimented by the virtuosity of Ms. Kim’s playing.

Op. 10 is also fantastic. What really grabbed me here was No. 4, which is moving and sensitive, gripping and energetic. An amazing piece, brought to life by Ms. Kim in a fascinating and stunning way. Her work here is captivating, as is the sensitivity she displays in No. 6, followed by some extremely difficult runs up and down the keyboard.

Bringing the disc to a close is the Humoreske, and it is, as expected from the Paganini pieces, simply wonderful. It is gentle and full of feeling, then brisk and energizing, then soulful and sensitive. This is fine artistry, and truly enjoyable.

This recording is wonderful, and Mariya Kim has certainly made my list of performers to watch. Highly recommended.

Submitted on 02/18/13 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Etudes (6) after Caprices of Paganini for piano, Op. 3
  • Performer: Mariya Kim (Piano)
  • Notes: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (12/10/2009-12/12/2009)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1832

>Schumann, Robert : Concert Etudes (6) after Caprices of Paganini, for piano, Op. 10
  • Performer: Mariya Kim (Piano)
  • Notes: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (12/10/2009-12/12/2009)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1833

>Schumann, Robert : Humoreske for piano in B flat major, Op. 20
  • Performer: Mariya Kim (Piano)
  • Notes: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (12/10/2009-12/12/2009)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1839