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Beatrice Rana|Clara & Robert Schumann: Piano Concertos

Clara & Robert Schumann: Piano Concertos

Beatrice Rana, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

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Once traditionally paired with Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto is now more frequently brought up alongside the Concerto in A minor that his beloved wife Clara Wieck wrote when she was still a teenager. This welcome sign of the times, however, does invite some difficulties in comparison, notably in qualifying the work of a master in full maturity and that of a genial 14-year-old at the beginning of her composing career. The young Clara Wieck, who would go on to become Mrs Schumann, is astonishing in this work, with its firmly drawn melodic patterns and winged virtuosity. How could we fail to recognise the solo appearance of the cello in the Romance (second movement) as foreshadowing of its near identical recasting by Schumann in his own Concerto in A minor, which seems chosen almost as a response to the young woman, and for its employment by their dear friend Brahms in his Concerto No. 2 in B flat?


Beatrice Rana and Philippe Nézet-Seguin highlight this connection perfectly by giving the two works similar size and import. Since then, Clara Wieck’s work has entered the official repertoire and ceased to be a mere curiosity. In the absence of a complementary Brahms piece, Beatrice Rana chose a transcription that Franz Liszt, another of the couple’s great friends, had made of the Widmung lied, which Robert had written for Clara as a token of his love. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Clara & Robert Schumann: Piano Concertos

Beatrice Rana

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1
Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 7: I. Allegro maestoso
00:06:06

Clara Wieck-Schumann, Composer - Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra, MainArtist - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor, MainArtist - Beatrice Rana, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2023 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2023 Parlophone Records Limited

2
Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 7: II. Romanze (Andante non troppo con grazia)
00:04:44

Clara Wieck-Schumann, Composer - Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra, MainArtist - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor, MainArtist - Beatrice Rana, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2023 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2023 Parlophone Records Limited

3
Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 7: III. Finale. Allegro non troppo - Allegro molto
00:10:20

Clara Wieck-Schumann, Composer - Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra, MainArtist - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor, MainArtist - Beatrice Rana, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2023 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2023 Parlophone Records Limited

4
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54: I. Allegro affettuoso
00:16:04

Robert Schumann, Composer - Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra, MainArtist - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor, MainArtist - Beatrice Rana, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2023 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2023 Parlophone Records Limited

5
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54: II. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)
00:05:08

Robert Schumann, Composer - Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra, MainArtist - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor, MainArtist - Beatrice Rana, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2023 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2023 Parlophone Records Limited

6
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54: III. Allegro vivace
00:10:43

Robert Schumann, Composer - Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra, MainArtist - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor, MainArtist - Beatrice Rana, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2023 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2023 Parlophone Records Limited

7
Widmung, Op. 25 No. 1 (Arr. Liszt, S. 566)
00:04:15

Franz Liszt, Arranger - Robert Schumann, Composer - Chamber Orchestra of Europe, MainArtist - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, MainArtist - Beatrice Rana, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2023 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2023 Parlophone Records Limited

Album review

Once traditionally paired with Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto is now more frequently brought up alongside the Concerto in A minor that his beloved wife Clara Wieck wrote when she was still a teenager. This welcome sign of the times, however, does invite some difficulties in comparison, notably in qualifying the work of a master in full maturity and that of a genial 14-year-old at the beginning of her composing career. The young Clara Wieck, who would go on to become Mrs Schumann, is astonishing in this work, with its firmly drawn melodic patterns and winged virtuosity. How could we fail to recognise the solo appearance of the cello in the Romance (second movement) as foreshadowing of its near identical recasting by Schumann in his own Concerto in A minor, which seems chosen almost as a response to the young woman, and for its employment by their dear friend Brahms in his Concerto No. 2 in B flat?


Beatrice Rana and Philippe Nézet-Seguin highlight this connection perfectly by giving the two works similar size and import. Since then, Clara Wieck’s work has entered the official repertoire and ceased to be a mere curiosity. In the absence of a complementary Brahms piece, Beatrice Rana chose a transcription that Franz Liszt, another of the couple’s great friends, had made of the Widmung lied, which Robert had written for Clara as a token of his love. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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