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Imogen Cooper plays Brahms & Schumann

Release date: 05 Feb 2013, CHAN10755


Imogen Cooper


Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann




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Press Quotes

International Record Review

“This is one of the finest solo piano recordings I have heard for some time... Cooper’s immaculate technique and excellent sense of proportion reinforce her deep, cultured musicality in performances which are wholly exceptional in my experience: such clarity of detail and architectural understanding are to be greatly admired. Her immaculate pianism and thoughtful musicianship are a constant source of wonder throughout this disc, consistently placed at the service of the music and its composer... The recording quality is extremely well balanced, with excellent clarity and range; the result is a disc which deserves to form a part of any self-respecting collector’s library. The booklet notes by Nicholas Marston are notably fine; in every respect this is a quite outstanding release.”

BBC Music Magazine

“... Throughout this superlative recital, Imgogen Cooper’s artistic sensibility – highly personal, interpretatively penetrating, yet never didactic – reflect a sympathy with the music so intimate and compelling that it seems for the most part to transcend the very concept of interpretation ... The sound here is positively luminous.”

Fanfare Magazine

“...Imogen Cooper, in the current recital, leans more towards the poetic, the more inwardly effusive aspects of Schumann’s music; here in dealing with the composer’s fantasy works as both the Fantasiestücke, Op 12 and Kreisleriana, subtitles Fantasien are - she seems to be right at home. Throughout the recital she maintains a lovely lyrical sense in the music... one should look no further than Cooper’s extremely fine recital here.”

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YOU HAVE SELECTED:  Duration Price Price Price Price  
Robert Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 29:5   $
No. 1. Des Abends 03:37   $
No. 2. Aufschwung 03:24   $
No. 3. Warum? 02:44   $
No. 4. Grillen 03:45   $
No. 5. In der Nacht 04:29   $
No. 6. Fabel 02:46   $
No. 7. Traumes Wirren 02:47   $
No. 8. Ende vom Lied 05:33   $
Johannes Brahms: Theme with Variations 10:29   $
Theme with Variations (arr. of String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18: II. Andante ma moderato) 10:29   $
Robert Schumann: Kreisleriana, Op. 16 35:39   $
I. Ausserst bewegt 02:53   $
II. Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch 10:19   $
III. Sehr aufgeregt 05:19   $
IV. Sehr langsam 03:50   $
V. Sehr lebhaft 03:02   $
VI. Sehr langsam 04:38   $
VII. Sehr rasch 02:22   $
VIII. Schnell und spielend 03:16   $

Album Spectogram

Album information

‘Duality, intermingling and juxtaposing identities, the dream world, the subconscious, wild humour, the supernatural, disguise, the outsider’. These are all words used by Imogen Cooper to describe the inner world of Robert Schumann. On this recording, she offers her interpretations of two works by this deeply inspired composer: Fantasiestücke and Kreisleriana. Both display in full Schumann’s extraordinary ability to express the gamut of human emotions in a highly imaginative language that draws the best from both piano and performer.

Schumann dedicated his Fantasiestücke to a young Scottish pianist by the name of Roberta Laidlaw, with whom he had a close, if brief, relationship during his eighteen-month-long separation from Clara Wieck, whom he was patiently courting. In one of the most important early studies of Schumann’s music, published in the journal Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Franz Brendel compared this work to ‘a landscape painting in which the foreground gains prominence in sharply delineated, clear contours while the background becomes blurred and vanishes in a limitless perspective’.

Kreisleriana was inspired by a complex character created by the writer E.T.A Hoffmann: Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler. In reflecting the complex personality of Kreisler, Schumann’s Kreisleriana seems to take on the very same alternating characteristics that are ascribed to this character. At times the music comes across as wild, eccentric, and clever, at others it displays a mood that is truly tender, lyrical, and romantic.

The last work on this album is the solo piano arrangement which Johannes Brahms made of the Theme and Variations movement from his String Sextet, Op. 18, and dedicated to Clara Schumann. She received the manuscript of this arrangement on her forty-first birthday, 13 September 1860. She was delighted to be able to play the variations herself, as she wrote in a letter to Brahms three days later. Nonetheless, the first public performance did not take place until a concert in Frankfurt on 31 October 1865.

Recorded in: Concert Hall, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, 23-26 July 2012.

Imogen Cooper plays Brahms & Schumann

Category Solo Instrumental

Period Romantic

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