Sonata in G Minor
Pièces Fugitives op. 15
Drei Romanzen op. 11
R. SCHUMANN: Unpublished Pieces from ‘Album for the Young’ op. 68
Daniel Levy, piano
A major new series of recordings dedicated to Robert Schumann, a composer that Levy seems to identify with especial conviction.
Daniel Levy’s interpretations emerge with strength and Romanticism, fulfilling the emotional, intellectual and spiritual challenges of Schumann’s music.
Julian Haylock reviewed Levy’s interpretation of Schumann’s celebrated Piano Concerto in BBC Music Magazine as:
“An all-time great recording…lovingly phrased and exultantly voiced”.
…But it is with a composer to whom he has devoted particular attention, Robert Schumann, that Levy seems to identify with especial conviction. If you listen to some of his most recent recordings, you will find Schumann’s personality and his compendious artistic range illuminated with fresh and perhaps unsurpassed vividness. We already know, from his most familiar works, what an intensely human composer Schumann is–at once mercurial and gemütlich, dreamy and epigrammatic. There is rhythmic fluidity in the writing, with its frequently offbeat accents, and a sometimes surprising richness of polyphony that contradicts the supposed verticality of the piano’s natural textures. Yet it’s not often that the musical character is realized with such force and clarity as, for instance, in Levy’s performance of the seventh movement of Kreisleriana, combining sheer rhythmic impetus with unshakable poise, and continuity of pulse with delicacy of paragraphing.
The pianist achieves light and shade even in this hell-for-leather piece; and that restrained ending, by the way, is the kind of thing that Levy turns to eloquent account in his playing of Schumann–the composer’s almost Ivesian way of closing a boisterous piece with a brief slower and lighter conclusion. There are other Schumannesque characteristics, too, that we may not previously have noticed, but that come to the fore in some of the less well-known works Levy has recorded. Listening to the eighth of the Albumblätter, or Album Leaves, Opus 124, I’m almost tempted–if this isn’t too much of an insult–to suggest that Schumann’s exploitation of unevenly truncated phrases and dissociative textures, searchingly rendered by Levy, points forward to some of Schoenberg’s piano music.
samples of tracks
DANIEL LEVY PLAYS CLARA & ROBERT SCHUMANN VOL. 4