Light and dark
BASIL RAMSEY listens to lesser-known Schumann
<< Continued from page 1
Just over halfway through the pleasant first movement a startling change
to mood and tempo is upon us. As a fugal section it dances in with lean
textures and a mood that suggests music a century later. Did Schumann have
second sight? All it lacks is 20th century syncopation [listen
- track 1, 05:47 - 06:19].
Melancholia pervades the second movement but of a nature to avoid disaster
and simply to sing a sad song, and then the rebellious middle section certainly
sweeps out melancholia. The scherzo renews this defiance, even with a relaxing
There is said to be humour in the last movement, but I feel that all
the bold dashes between instruments provides a heavy task in itself. The
mood then changes as though getting home is the prime objective.
Theodor Kirchner arranged Schumann's Six pieces in canonic form for trio
from the original provision for pedal piano [listen
- track 12, 00:00 - 00:46]. Less rhapsodic than chamber music, they
are nonetheless expressive miniatures, including the well-known Canon in
The collection here then is varied and most of it unfamiliar to all but
Schumann buffs. For his sake, as well as our lack of knowledge, this disc
lightens yet more dark patches. Performances are well projected and fully
sympathetic towards Schumann's mannerisms.
Copyright © 29 April 2000 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - NAXOS 8.553837
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