Albums

$17.49
$12.99

Classical - Released November 30, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Looking at the program here, you may not have been aware that Robert Schumann contributed so many works to the cello repertory. He didn't; the two central works were originally written for other instruments and are presented here in versions for cello and piano. Nevertheless, there is no hint of the program being scraped together. This is because Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta has assembled a group of mostly late Schumann works (the Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73, might be called transitional) that aren't terribly common, probably have never been heard together before, and offer all kinds of insight into the late Schumann style that heavily influenced the young Brahms. The contrapuntally dense Konzertstück für Cello und Orchester, Op. 129, generally rendered as Cello concerto in English, was one such work; it's a thorny work that Schumann's contemporaries wouldn't touch, but Brahms would later write concertos that would similarly be accused of not favoring the soloist enough, but that continued to rethink the concerto form. The work gets a fine performance here, influenced by historical-instrument readings, from Gabetta and the Kammerorchester Basel under Gabetta's frequent collaborator Giovanni Antonini. Sample the first movement for an idea of the clarity they bring to Schumann's gnarly textures. Of course, another periodic aspect of the Brahms style was an interest in folk-like melodies, and here that's anticipated by a very rarely heard Schumann work, the Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 (Five Pieces in Folk Style). This one is worth the price on its own; the five works move progressively away from folk models, and really the work is unlike anything else in the repertory. The two middle works are played well enough by the cello, and all in all this is a fine, even revelatory Schumann recital even if the cello concerto, recorded two years earlier than the other pieces, seems to inhabit a different sonic world.
$14.49
$10.49

Solo Piano - Released September 14, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
$14.49
$10.49

Classical - Released August 26, 2016 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
$15.49
$10.99

Classical - Released August 19, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
$15.49
$10.99

Concertos - Released March 22, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
$14.49
$10.49

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.
$14.49
$10.49

Classical - Released September 23, 2013 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
$12.99

Classical - Released November 22, 2010 | Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année