Monday, December 21, 2009

Schumann - Piano Concerto in a, op.54 - Violin Concerto in d - Argerich, Kremer, Harnoncourt

Schumann - Piano Concerto in a, op.54 - Violin Concerto in d -
Argerich, Kremer, Harnoncourt

Concerto | Eac, single flac | log, cover | 1 CD, 252 MB
November 1, 1994 | Teldec | RapidShare

This is an excellent recording. The orchestra plays beautifully, with both a Romantic richness and a Classical clarity that Schumann's scores require.

I always enjoy Nikolaus Harnoncourt's take on things. By going back to the original scores and following the dictates of the composer, he sometimes ignores performance tradition but captures nuances and intentions that have been lost. Such is the case here, especially with the violin concerto, where he and Gidon Kremer take the third movement at a slow pace -- a stately polonaise -- as the composer intended. (The accompanying booklet spells out Schumann's views quite clearly.) Not everyone likes this approach, but I do: the result is an elegant, moving and even playful work. For those who have not heard the concerto, the first movement epecially is a gem, one of those why-I-like-Schumann revelations brimming with musical ideas in the composer's unique personal style. The violin concerto has been unfairly maligned over time by those who say Schumann's powers were diminishing when he wrote it. If these are the ravings of a soon-to-be-madman, they are still better than most of the music written in his era!

The piano concerto, an old warhorse which has threatened to sink under its own overperformed weight, is played with verve and panache by Martha Argerich, a performance almost universally proclaimed as one of the best on disc. If you think you've heard the piano concerto a few times too many, Argerich and Harnoncourt put some of the magic back in the piece.

CD Content

# Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Composed by Robert Schumann
with Martha Argerich, Chamber Orchestra Europe
Conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

# Violin Concerto in D minor, WoO 23
Composed by Robert Schumann
with Chamber Orchestra Europe, Gidon Kremer
Conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt


  1. Another excellent post!
    Thank you so much.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Is there a 3rd part to this? And thank you!

  4. Otto, thanks a lot for this. But the third part is lost.



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