13 Februar 2013

Fanfare über meine Schumann Einspielung

The early Abegg Variations sparkle with a subdued glow that makes sense of the various swirls of musical components marking a composer trying to find his way. Personal to the end, Schumann could not resist making a melody out of the last name of his Heidelberg University friend’s fiancée Fraulein Meta Abegg. And the six Intermezzi, more popular in Brahms’s canon than in Schumann’s, come together with a coherence that many performances fail to achieve, a mixture of technical proficiency that can easily navigate the contrapuntal issues and emotive reflection that balances the fantastic origins of the work, derived for the most part from song texts, and initially labeled by the composer as the Pièces phantastiques... Best of all just might be the Symphonic Variations... [T]hey have a formal integrity and sense of connectedness often missing in the hands of lesser artists...

– Steven E. Ritter, FANFARE [reviewing Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy's Schumann recordings, Brilliant 93772]

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