Schumann - 200 years old today

DistlerTue 8th June 2010

His best-loved piano repertoire matched to recordings

Robert Schumann is 200 years old today. I’ll wager that his afterlife has been more bearable than the last few years of his mortal life, and certainly pianists and piano lovers would agree to that.

To celebrate, I thought I’d match up Schumann’s best-loved piano repertoire to recordings I enjoy, without repeating any artist. Yes, I’m leaving out many landmark versions and points of reference, but you don’t need me to tell you about Rachmaninov’s 1929 Carnaval, Lipatti’s A Minor Concerto, or Argerich and Friends playing the Piano Quintet for dear life.

However, you certainly can tell me about your favorite versions, especially ones that I may not have heard (and believe me, I’ve heard a lot!). So hear we go, and happy listening.
 
Op. 1 Abegg Variations – Clara Haskil (Philips)
Op. 2 Papillons – Wilhelm Kempff (DG)
Op. 6 Davidsbundlertänze – András Schiff (Warner Classics)
Op. 7 Toccata – Josef Lhevinne (RCA)
Op. 9 Carnaval – Nelson Freire (Decca)
Op. 11 Piano Sonata No. 1 – Klára Würtz (Brilliant Classics)
Op. 12 Fantasiestücke – Earl Wild (Ivory Classics)
Op. 13 Symphonic Etudes – Andrew De Grado (Centaur)
Op. 14 Concerto without Orchestra (Piano Sonata No. 3) – Aldo Ciccolini (Cascavelle)
Op. 15 Kinderszenen – Ivan Moravec (Supraphon)
Op. 16 Kreisleriana – Herbert Schuch (Oehms)
Op. 17 Fantasy in C – Sergio Fiorentino (APR – studio recording)
Op. 18 Arabeske – Arthur Rubinstein (RCA – live at Carnegie Hall 1961)
Op. 19 Blumenstücke – Vladimir Horowitz (Sony)
Op. 20 Humoreske – Radu Lupu (Decca)
Op. 21 Novelleten – Claudio Arrau (Philips)
Op. 22 Piano Sonata No. 2 – Marc-André Hamelin (Hyperion)
Op. 26 Faschingsschwank aus Wien – Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (Testament)
OP. 54 Piano Concerto – Rudolf Serkin/Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra (Sony – stereo recording)
Op. 82 Waldscenen – Sviatoslav Richter (DG)

Distler

Composer, pianist, concert presenter and Gramophone contributor Jed Distler looks back, present and forward about the piano in our lives, and the lives of the piano.

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