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Schumann: G minor Sonata; Waldszenen; Gesange der Fruhe / Mitsuko Uchida, piano

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), for piano, Op. 82
>Schumann, Robert : Sonata for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22
>Schumann, Robert : Gesänge der Frühe (5) for Piano, Op. 133
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

One of the world's foremost Schumann interpreters explores his late piano works. Uchida's profound insights into the troubled mind of Robert Schumann. Dame Mitsuko Uchida, universally acknowledged as one of the world's foremost Schumann interpreters, follows her last album of the composer's music (Davidsbündlertänze and Fantasie in C) with another sublime Schumann program. Uchida's latest Decca recording brings together the romantic fire and intensity of the Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22 with two remarkable works from Schumann's final years, Waldszenen and the Gesänge der Frühe. These works ideally suit the artist's personal blend of cerebral perception and heart-felt intuition in performance. Her album's repertoire explores music created by an artist burdened by deep depression and mental illness. His Gesänge der Frühe ("Songs of Dawn") were sketched within the space of four days in February 1854, shortly before Schumann attempted to commit suicide by throwing himself in the Rhine. The work proved to be his last complete piano composition. Critics were beguiled by Uchida's performances of these works at the Royal Festival Hall, London in March 2013. The Independent's five-star review noted how her vision of Waldszenen "shed light on each [of the work's nine pieces] in a remarkable way: what unified them was the infinite refinement of her touch, and the freshness with which she imagined each piece; 'Vogel als Prophet' (Prophet Bird) was exquisite beyond words.

American Record Guide, January/February 2014
Uchida regularly turns out solid programs from Mozart to Berg, all of it fascinating and engaging. In her latest recording of Schumann, her imagination comes to the fore, reinforcing her stature as one of the finest interpreters alive. Waldszenen is charming. The same combination of intimate and unsettling appears in Gesange der Fruhe, one of Schumann's last compositions. The sonata forms a powerful contrast. Explosive yet controlled, Uchida gives us one of the best recordings of the work. Her opening movement is dramatic; playing "as fast as possible" sounds perfectly effortless and uninhibited. Her last movement opens exquisitely, the intimate sections revealing a liquid, flexible phrasing that leads into the presto sections without breaking the flow of the piece. Absolutely compelling.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Reitstadel, Neumarkt (05/28/2013-06/01/2013).



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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), for piano, Op. 82
  • Performer: Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt (05/28/2013-06/01/2013)
  • Running Time: 23 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1848-1849

>Schumann, Robert : Sonata for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22
  • Performer: Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt (05/28/2013-06/01/2013)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1833-1838

>Schumann, Robert : Gesänge der Frühe (5) for Piano, Op. 133
  • Performer: Mitsuko Uchida (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt (05/28/2013-06/01/2013)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1853