Schumann: Complete Works For Piano
Label: haenssler CLASSIC
Format: COMPACT DISC
Poppen, Christoph; Uhlig, Florian; Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern
For over 60 years, repeated efforts have been made to capture on recording Robert Schumann’s Complete Works for Piano solo, a fascinatingly broad and varied spectrum ranging from highly virtuosic pieces for the concert hall and valuable literature for teaching purposes. This attractive and yet challenging assignment was not always approached with the necessary intellectual rigor, quite apart from any purely artistic shortcomings, and so none of these sets can justly be deemed “complete”. Schumann had published a string of works in two more or less divergent versions, so that it is highly questionable whether an edition can be labelled “Complete Recordings” if it only contains one of those versions or worse still, makes a misguided attempt to combine two of them. Meanwhile, works that were published at remote locations or remained unpublished have hitherto been taken into account only in exceptional cases. The first true complete recording of Robert Schumann’s works for piano solo on 17 albums (in 15 volumes), played by Florian Uhlig, seeks for the first time to offer imaginative compilations containing all original works for pianoforte written between 1830 (Abegg Variations op. 1) and 1854 (Ghost Variations) according to the newest critical editions and/or first editions. Several of these albums also contain premiere recordings, often of fragments that were amenable to completion. After the project was completed in 2021, it was evident from a further critical inspection of the five Studien- und Skizzenbücher held in the University and State Library in Bonn, and from the volumes of the complete piano works for two hands that have so far appeared in this comprehensive and groundbreaking edition, that there is a string of either very short complete or longer fragmentary pieces dating from about 1830 to 1837 that are worthy of attention.