Schumann: The Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 4 Francesco Piemontesi

Album info



Label: Claves Records

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Francesco Piemontesi

Composer: Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Album including Album cover


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  • Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856): Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 11:
  • 1Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 11: I. Introduzione : Un poco adagio - Allegro vivace09:43
  • 2Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 11: II. Aria02:58
  • 3Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 11: III. Scherzo e Intermezzo: Allegrissimo04:30
  • 4Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 11: IV. Finale: Allegro un poco maestoso11:14
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22:
  • 5Piano Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22: I. So rasch wie möglich06:17
  • 6Piano Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22: II. Andantino : Getragen04:09
  • 7Piano Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22: III. Scherzo: Sehr rasch und markiert01:44
  • 8Piano Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22: IV. Rondo: Presto05:07
  • Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 14 "Concert ohne Orchester":
  • 9Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 14 "Concert ohne Orchester": I. Allegro brillante (Original Version of 1836)07:00
  • 10Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 14 "Concert ohne Orchester": II. Scherzo (1853): Molto comodo06:06
  • 11Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 14 "Concert ohne Orchester": III. Quasi variazioni: Andantino de Clara Wieck05:52
  • 12Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 14 "Concert ohne Orchester": IV. Prestissimo possible07:32
  • Fantasy for Piano in C Major, Op. 17:
  • 13Fantasy for Piano in C Major, Op. 17: I. Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen13:11
  • 14Fantasy for Piano in C Major, Op. 17: II. Mäßig: Durchaus energisch08:03
  • 15Fantasy for Piano in C Major, Op. 17: III. Langsam getragen, durchweg leise zu halten10:58
  • Total Runtime01:44:24

Info for Schumann: The Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 4

Whereas the musical world is celebrating in great style the bicentenary of Robert Schumann’s birth; Claves is pursuing the project of recording the German composer’s complete piano works. Begun in 2006 with double albums by Finghin Collins (followed two years later by his third volume) and Cedric Pescia; the fourth volume is now out: two very dense CDs by Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi; who chose the challenge of the Three Sonatas and the Fantasia op. 17. With great success. Of the three; it is no doubt the Third Sonata (op. 14) which is the most vertiginous – although the Second; with its first movement marked “so rasch wie möglich” then “schneller” and “noch schneller” is pretty hair-raising.

Also known as the “Great Sonata” and sometimes nicknamed the “Concerto without Orchestra”; it originally had five movements; brought down to four in the final 1853 edition. Besides the monumental first movement and the Presto possibile finale; the most noteworthy is the sublime and grave third movement; with a theme by Clara Wieck; who became Mrs Schumann in 1840. “What a privilege for Robert to be able to unite his song to that of his beloved!” wrote Etienne Barilier in the introductory booklet. Another highlight of this album is the Fantasia op. 17; in which the composer manages to master the great sonata form whilst still giving full rein to his unstable; wild genius.

The work is dedicated to Franz Liszt; who later returned the compliment with the Sonata in B minor. It was written in 1846 in painful circumstances: Robert was separated from Clara by the tyrannical and jealous will of her father. “The composer later confessed that the first part of the work (which originally was also to be called “sonata”); was the expression of his torn love”; says Etienne Barilier. “It is however not only issued from his love for Clara; but also from his admiration for Beethoven: Schumann had intended writing a great sonata in honour of the composer and it has indeed always been thought that the final movement of the work; with its contemplative; supra-terrestrial atmosphere; was inspired by the last movements of Beethoven's Sonatas opus 109 or 111”.

“To judge from these performances, Piemontesi is certainly a highly promising artist. His playing is intelligent and refined, and he commands a prodigious range of keyboard touch and colour, combined with remarkable powers of articulation.” (The Guardian)

Francesco Piemontesi, piano

Francesco Piemontesi
is a pianist of exceptional refinement of expression, which is allied to a consummate technical skill. Widely renowned for his interpretation of Mozart and the early Romantic repertoire, Piemontesi’s pianism and sensibility has a close affinity too with the later 19th century and 20th century repertoire of Brahms, Liszt, Dvořák, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók and beyond. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.

Francesco Piemontesi appears with major ensembles worldwide: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, DSO and Berlin Radio Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orcherstra, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, The Hallé, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Israel Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Charles Dutoit, Sir Mark Elder, Iven Fischer, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Ton Koopman, Andrew Manze, Zubin Mehta, Sir Roger Norrington, Gianandrea Noseda, Sakari Oramo and Yuri Temirkanov.

Piemontesi is also a natural and keen chamber musician and plays with a variety of partners – Leif Ove Andsnes, Yuri Bashmet, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuel Pahud, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Tabea Zimmermann and the Emerson Quartet.

In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rotterdam De Doelen, Berlin Philharmonie, Zürich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and Suntory Hall Tokyo. In January 2016, Piemontesi launched his complete Mozart Odyssey at the Wigmore Hall, performing the sonatas in a series of recitals over the course of three seasons:

“[The D-major Fantasia] was a good introduction to Piemontesi’s balance between musical intelligence, judgement and intuition, which poured into his reading of the K284 Sonata… The detail of decoration and dynamics Piemontesi released in the penultimate section – a full-scale Adagio vocalise of great intensity – made Mozart’s supernatural eloquence soar”

Piemontesi has performed at the Verbier Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, Chopin International Music Festival in Warsaw, Lucerne Festival, Schubertiade, Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein festivals and New York Mostly Mozart Festival.

Francesco Piemontesi has released a number of fine recordings, including three recordings for Naïve Classique: the Debussy Préludes, released in autumn 2015, Mozart Piano Works, and Schumann and Dvořák‘s Piano Concerti with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek. His recording of Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 25 & 26 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Manze were released on Linn Records in August 2017.

Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi studied with Arie Vardi before working with Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Cécile Ousset and Alexis Weissenberg. He rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and between 2009-11 he was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist.

Since 2012, Piemontesi has been the Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.

This album contains no booklet.

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