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£13.49

Symphonic Music - Released March 9, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released February 2, 2018 | Universal Music Italia srL.

Hi-Res Booklet
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Symphonies - Released November 10, 2017 | San Francisco Symphony

Hi-Res Booklet
Michael Tilson Thomas and “his” San Francisco Symphony are sticking to their policy consisting in leaving a recorded trace of the collaboration between the conductor and his ensemble, which started a mere twenty two years ago! This time, it’s Schumann’s Four Symphonies, recorded live of course between November 2015 and May 2016. It’s worth mentioning that in 2001 the San Francisco Symphony − which was the first American ensemble to play on radio broadcasts − launched SFS Media, the first audio and video label belonging to the orchestra itself, whose objective is to commercialise its own audio recordings as well as its own educational, documentary and concert DVDs. A great cultural initiative entirely financed by private sponsors (who, as opposed to so many sponsors in France, don’t demand dozens of free tickets, quite the opposite, they buy the most expensive ones… different place, different ways…) and concert sales. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | Sony Music Labels Inc.

Hi-Res Booklet
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Lieder (German) - Released March 31, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Quartets - Released October 20, 2014 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime
This album of Robert Schumann's three string quartets by France's young Quatuor Hermès comes with Japanese translations of the booklet and track list. This raises an interesting question: as the market for music of the Western classical tradition grows in Asian countries, might unusual performances of repertory works influence the nature of the repertory going forward in countries where it is new? Certainly one could imagine a situation in which this recording caused the Schumann string quartets to be accorded a status higher than the middle-level position they enjoy in the West. The Quatuor Hermès offers readings that are both iconoclastic and executed at a very high level. In a word, they're electrifying. They seem to have tapped into the influence of Beethoven's revolutionary late quartets on Schumann and linked it to the spirit of fantasy and, to use the group's own word, madness that runs through all his music. This is Schumann of an ecstatic, arch-Romantic sort, with sharp tempo contrasts -- listen to the finale of the String Quartet in A minor, Op. 41/1, which almost, but not quite, goes over the edge -- and a passionate attitude toward the chains of melody that seem, once one has been conditioned to listen to the works this way, to have grown straight out of the likes of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132. Revelatory and committed, this is a Schumann recording that will be remembered and treasured.
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Quartets - Released February 23, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
The Elias Quartet has already recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven quartets at Wigmore Hall that was extremely well received by the critics. Now Sara Bitlloch, Donald Grant, Martin Saving and Marie Bitlloch present on Alpha an album devoted to Schumann: "We have always had a special affection for Robert Schumann’s Third Quartet. It’s one of the first works we played together. Since then we have often come back to it, as if to a splendid and familiar region that we think we know thoroughly, but which yields up new secrets with each visit. The Second Quartet, on the other hand, was a much later and more complicated discovery for us. The writing is so personal, so unidiomatic for the instruments, so full of nuances, that to begin with we found it hard to come up with a unanimous voice for this work. The enthusiasm of the first movement can easily turn into anxiety if you push it a bit too far. In the slow movement, the texture is sometimes so bare that to convey its tenderness you have to sustain it with great fervour. The capricious Scherzo is bristling with rhythmic pitfalls and requires a diabolical mastery of the instruments, while the Finale is an endless explosion of joy!". © Alpha Classics
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Solo Piano - Released September 29, 2017 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
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Quartets - Released January 26, 2018 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet
Since it was formed in 2007, the Stradivari Quartet has built up an enviable international reputation for itself both through its concerts and recordings. Throughout all of this it has remained in close contact with its audiences, who often follow the players as a loyal and enthusiastic fan base. The Stradivari Quartet is undoubtedly one of the most interesting ensembles currently before the public. All four members are additionally engaged in other artistic activities. The Quartet gives around forty concerts a year in Switzerland and throughout the world and has appeared at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art etc. The Stradivari Quartet performs a wide range of music, while concentrating increasingly on major cycles of works by a single composer and generally spread out over an entire season. March 2017 was Schumann’s turn… The composer’s earliest plans to tackle the ne plus ultra of chamber music date back to 1838, when he wrote to Clara: “I’m looking forward to the quartets as the piano is becoming too limiting for me; it’s especially strange that I write almost everything in canon form and that it isn’t until afterwards that I discover the voices that echo the melodic line, often in inversions, retrograde rhythms etc.” Although Schumann completed the String Quartets Op. 41 in a matter of barely two months in 1842, they had been preceded by a lengthy gestational process. He gained access to the medium by studying the classics: Beethoven and Mendelssohn, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. It is remarkable, though, that he never tackled the string quartet again after 1842. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 22, 2013 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 3, 2017 | Phaedra

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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
Japanese-British pianist Mitsuko Uchida continues to impress with recordings that are not so much intellectual as simply well thought out, making a challenging yet extremely satisfying overall impression. Consider the three works by Robert Schumann recorded here. Only the Waldszenen, Op. 82 (Forest Scenes), are well known. The Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22, is an early but not immature work, composed in 1830 and supplied with a new finale in 1838 at the suggestion of Clara Schumann, who pointed out that while she could play the original version, few others would be able to. There is already plenty to chew on here, for Schumann incorporates motivic links to the first movement in the new finale. Clara was lukewarm about the work (calling it "not too incomprehensible"), but Schumann himself thought highly of it. The genesis of the work is fascinating; it began with a song Schumann composed in his student days, and Schumann incorporated it into an inner voice of the slow movement. Rather like Beethoven's theater music, it does have the feel of an innovative composer's ideas being forced into an older mold. But Uchida, with her precise yet explosive style, is the perfect interpreter of the work, which seems to spill over the boundaries of sonata form with quasi-improvisatory ideas. Her performance connects the work to the rest of the output of the young Schumann in an ideal way. Also interesting are the Gesänge der Frühe, Op. 133 (Dawn Songs), one of the last things Schumann finished before going insane: they are strangely serene little miniatures. The Waldszenen themselves are full of fresh, even daring interpretations. Decca's engineering staff outdoes itself with its capture of an ideal sound environment for the work: not the usual concert hall or studio but the well-known audiophile venue the Reitstadel in the German city of Neumarkt. An essential Schumann release.
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Solo Piano - Released September 29, 2017 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
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Quartets - Released September 8, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
It’s in a small comic filled with self-derision that the Modigliani Quartet describe their background, from the founding of the quartet in 2003 to its beginnings at the Berliner Philharmonie in 2017: First Prize Winners of the Young Concert Artists in New York, which opened the doors of the Carnegie Hall to them in 2006, Grand Prix Winners of Académie Charles Cros two years later with Haydn, artistic directors of the Evian Festival in 2014… An impressive and international pedigree for this quartet originally founded by four students of the Conservatoire de Paris keen to try their hands on the greatest chamber music repertoire. This new recording of the sole three quartets of Schumann, works created in one go in 1842 – two years after 1840, “the year of the Lied”, and one year before the two chamber masterpieces that are the Piano Quartet and the Piano Quintet. It’s true that in these quartets, Schumann doesn’t stray too far from Beethoven and even less from Mendelssohn (posthumously dedicatee), maybe the consequence of an inevitably more linear and contrapuntal writing, not as harmonic as the addition of a piano would allow. The fact remains that the Modiglianis capture these three singular works and restore their lines rather than looking for a dense, symphonic and pianistic texture that is not theirs. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released May 4, 2018 | Challenge Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
This is the third album for Challenge Classics from the excellent Israeli pianist Einav Yarden, who, having made the most of the world of Haydn, and before that Beethoven and Stravinsky, is now taking on the most complex figure in early German romanticism, Robert Schumann, by way of a repertoire that is in part fairly original (Drei Fantasiestücke Op. 111 to start) but also well-trodden (Fantasie Op. 17, Waldszenen) by his fellow musicians. The tough competition should not distract you, however, from this musician, who is still little known in these parts, a student of Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory, much beloved of Elisso Virsaladze, and who first trained in Israel. His performances of Schumann set themselves apart with their striving for structural clarity and ample phrasing, which sometimes presages Brahms, rather than a drive for lyricism or for sweetly febrile poetry. © Théodore Grantet/Qobuz The three works on this album span a period of fifteen years – years in which the young Schumann suffered forcible separation from his beloved Clara, followed by their marriage and a brief period of relative calm, to the increasing bouts of mental instability which were to close him off from the world around him until his death. The piano Fantasiestücke op. 111 was composed in 1851 during a time of deteriorating mental health and increasing disillusionment with his post as Music Director of the Düsseldorf Music Society. In contrast to the youthfully extrovert Fantasiestücke op. 12 of 1837, these three untitled pieces are “of a serious and passionate character”, as Clara described them, their bold harmonies intensifying their expressivity. The Fantasie in C major op. 17 is one of Schumann’s most powerful large-scale piano works, composed during the bitter period of his enforced separation from Clara. Schumann completed his cycle of nine forest piano miniatures, Waldszenen, in 1849, while struggling with increasing bouts of mental instability and depression. Each piece is headed by a descriptive title. These masterly tone paintings display Schumann’s genius in creating miniature images consummate in expression, characterisation and mood. © Challenge Classics
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Classical - Released February 15, 2002 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 1, 1984 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released July 6, 2018 | Haenssler Classic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The eleventh volume Schumann's complete piano works, played by Florian Uhlig, these are inspired pieces, more or less influenced by E. T. A. Hoffmann, as both a historical figure (a writer of course, a musician too, although he never really shone, jurist, and talented draughtsman in his spare time…) and as a legend – Offenbach dedicated his final masterpiece to him! Of course, the keystone of this album is without a doubt the fantastic cycle Kreisleriana, whose title refers to a collection by Hoffmann, or rather, signed with the name Johannes Kreisler, which was the writer's alter ego. From them, Schumann distils eight pieces, alternating between fury (Kreisler had a very, very stormy and mercurial temperament) and hyper-romantic lyricism, often with a great pianistic complexity – which does not, all the same, hide the purely musical discourse. The other works presented here by Uhlig are probably less directly connected with Hoffmann, although the composer takes some titles from him here and there. The programme is made up of works dating from 1837 to 1839 – years in which Schumann and Clara Wieck were keeping up a long-distance relationship, before they would marry in 1840, for better and, alas, for worse after a few years. Schumann, with an alter ego of his own, gives us here the some of the most effusive works: it's an art that is full of marvellous contrast and contradictions. Uhlig plays it brilliantly. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 6, 2012 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)