Schumann Humoreske and Sonata Op. 11

Schumann Humoreske

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)

Hyperion CDA67618/SACDA67618

Angela Hewitt’s first recording of works by Robert Schumann will come as a surprise to many, but it is repertoire that she has lived with for several decades, ever since she was a prizewinner in the International Schumann Competition in Zwickau (Schumann’s birthplace) in 1977. Both works on this CD deserve to be heard more often than they are.

“A compelling Schumann player” (Classic FM Magazine)

“unreservedly superb” (The Guardian)

Piano Sonata No 1 in F sharp minor Op 11(36’52)
1.Introduzione: Un poco adagio — Allegro vivace (13’51)
2. Aria (4’31)
3. Scherzo e Intermezzo: Allegrissimo — Lento (5’27)
4. Allegro un poco maestoso (12’59)

Humoreske in B flat major Op 20 (28’57)
5. Einfach — Sehr rasch und leicht — Wie im Anfang (5’44)
6. Hastig — Nach und nach immer lebhafter und stärker — Adagio (5’24)
7. Einfach und zart — Intermezzo (4’33)
8. Innig — Sehr lebhaft — Mit einigem Pomp (6’32)
9. Zum Beschluss (6’41)
Two very different compositions are presented on this CD: the F-sharp minor Sonata, which Schumann described as “a single cry from the heart” for his beloved Clara, is conceived on a grand scale with tremendous sweep and passion. The multi-movement Humoreske flits from one mood to another, presenting us with an image of the composer’s mind at the time. The recording was made on Angela Hewitt’s own Fazioli piano.

“This is very superior playing indeed: an object lesson in pianistic refinement, tonal, expressive and psychological imagination, and musicianship of the highest order.”
(Piano Magazine)

“The clarity of line is a Hewitt hallmark. It is present through the buzzing Allegro vivace, passing from right hand to left and back with seamless fluency, and it soards with the most delicate lightness through the Aria … Hewitt’s Scherzo explodes with rhythm … the crushed notes are flashing sparks that might ingnite. The Finale almsot tumbles over itself with key-changes, expression and dynamics, but Hewitt contains all in a lover’s embrace … It is as if genius has stepped out of its trance. This is joyful and exuberant play … A compelling Schumann player.” (Classic FM Magazine *****)

This recording is available in multichannel hybrid SACD and conventional CD formats.

Recorded in Das Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Dobbiaco, Italy, on 23-26 May 2007

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