- Concert allegro with introduction for piano & orchestra in D minor, Op. 134
- Introduction and Allegro appassionato, for piano & orchestra in G major, Op. 92
- Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
19.99 In Stock
Angela Hewitt, known mostly for recordings of Baroque music, has embarked on the classics of the 19th century. She doesn't lack for competition when it comes to the perennially popular "Piano Concerto of A minor, Op. 54," of Schumann, but several attractive points keep her in the crowded game. As you might expect, Hewitt doesn't try to tear the roof off with her Fazioli piano; the overall tenor of the recording is quiet and deliberate (even very deliberate in the concerto's finale). However, within this framework, Hewitt carves out a good deal of contrast. The second theme of the concerto's opening movement becomes its own little lyric sphere here, and many details in the finale are beautifully teased out (some syncopations emerge in the piano part that you may well not have noticed). Another strong point is that the album presents all three of Schumann's works for piano and orchestra in one place, a comparative rarity. The "Introduction and Allegro appassionato, Op. 92," and "Introduction and Concert-Allegro, Op. 134," have not been frequently performed. Both were written rather quickly for Clara Schumann and are rather episodic virtuoso works. The "Introduction and Concert-Allegro" was written a few months before Schumann's institutionalization. It's hard to hear in its rambling structure the claims that have been made for the subtleties of Schumann's late music, but Schumann himself apparently valued it highly: from his asylum bed he dedicated it to his young admirer, Brahms. Hewitt's precise readings are ideal for those wanting to get to know these works. Neither the string sound of the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin nor the engineering at the city's Jesus-Christus-Kirche is all it could be, but this is a Schumann album made to stand up to stiff competition.
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