JOZEF DE BEENHOUWER
Jozef de Beenhouwer offers Clara Schumann and listening audiences a special gift on the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of her birth: an album including numerous recording premieres from this famous pianist’s extensive transcription oeuvre. He not only honors her compositional talent but also spotlights works with which she very deliberately and intensively occupied herself – and in the process very attractively nuances our picture of the musical Schumann family. The focus is formed by selected songs by Robert Schumann. Thirty transcriptions in all were published during Clara’s lifetime, and eleven others were discovered and edited only a few years ago. De Beenhouwer’s choices drawing on both sources impressively demonstrate how skillfully Clara integrated the voice part into Robert’s piano parts, which often are quite complicated. Clara also transferred Robert’s Studies and Sketches for the Pedal Piano to the piano. The pieces are for hands with an enormous span and flexibility- and attest to her outstanding pianistic capabilities. Johannes Brahms of course also has something to contribute to this meritorious program: the minuet from the Serenade in D major and the scherzo from the- almost unplayable- arrangement of the Serenade in A major shed light on Clara’s intimate artistic friendship with this younger composer.