Robert & Clara Schumann: Works for Piano Imogen Cooper
- Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856): Humoreske in B-Flat Major, Op. 20:
- 1Einfach -04:57
- 2Hastig -04:37
- 3Einfach und zart -04:57
- 4Innig - Sehr lebhaft - Mit einigem Pomp -06:28
- 5Zum Beschluß06:08
- 3 Romanzen, Op. 28:
- 6No. 2 in F-Sharp Major04:05
- Clara Schumann (1819 - 1896): 4 Pièces caractéristiques, Op. 5:
- 7No. 3, Romance03:07
- 8No. 4, Scène fantastique. Ballet des revenants05:06
- Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856): Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 11:
- 9I. Introduzione. Un poco adagio - Allegro vivace11:24
- 10II. Aria03:23
- 11III. Scherzo. Allegrissimo - Intermezzo. Lento05:47
- 12IV. Finale. Allegro un poco maestoso11:06
Info for Robert & Clara Schumann: Works for Piano
This is the eagerly awaited second volume in the new collaboration between Chandos and Imogen Cooper. In this series, she brings her virtuosity and poetic touch to the repertoire of one of the central German romantic composers. Known as a Schubert expert, she has recently turned to Schumann in an equally successful way, which she proved in her much lauded first volume (CHAN10755). The Snape Maltings concert hall and Nicholas Marston’s detailed notes are respectively ‘an excellent complement’ (musicwebinternational.com) and ‘an added bonus’ (Gramophone) to the series.
This album is an implicit dialog between the two Schumanns, the presence of words sensed at every point: from the Lied-like melody in the love duet that is Robert’s ‘Romanze’ to the Humoreske, an imaginary song inspired by Clara. Even the Sonata was dedicated to Clara, ‘by Eusebius and Florestan’ who represent the dual poetic sides of Schumann’s nature. This imaginary world was the frame for Clara’s ‘Scène fantastique’ – renamed ‘Doppelgänger Chorus’ in the long, yet often passionately hopeless, correspondence which Clara and Robert carried on during their courtship.
Robert Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 is also one of the most emblematic pieces in the romantic repertoire for piano, in which, as Imogen Cooper explains, ‘a much darker side of Schumann is at work, one that is frenetically driven, as if with no inner parameters to guide him’. She adds: ‘Great energy, emotional and physical, is needed from the performer, and great willingness from the listener, who must open him- or herself to this somewhat rollercoaster experience, without defences.’
"Cooper has a thorough command of the Schumann language in the major works buttressing her recital...judiciously differentiated, finely balanced and sustained by a compelling impulse." (Gramophone Magazine)
"Cooper asserts her stylistic credentials right at the start of the disc in Robert’s Humoreske, playing with a warm, golden tone and fluidly finding that distinction between the extrovert and introvert traits that were key to Schumann’s musical personality." (The Telegraph)
Imogen Cooper, piano
Pianistically alone, Cooper commands a dynamic and colouristic range beyond the reach of most pianists. She understands that musical, like verbal, speech acquires the eloquence and continuity through the close, asymmetrical juxtaposition of extreme but varied contrasts – as in any polysyllabic word. Nowhere is this truer than in Schumann, whose own juxtaposition of emotional-psychological extremes requires a maximum of characterisation with a minimum of evidence – the art that conceals art. Cooper’s gifts in this department are unmistakable even before she reaches the end of the first, brief piece in the Davidsbündlertänze. And as she begins, so she continues. Every piece in this recital is a study in portraiture worthy of Schumann's beloved ETA Hoffman. Variety and organic momentum (structure, in short, in a sea of diversity) go hand in hand.
Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. Recent and future concerto performances include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard. This season she will perform lieder recitals with Mark Padmore, including at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a series of solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall in London, focussing on Haydn and Beethoven.
Imogen has a widespread international career and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, NHK and London Symphony Orchestras. She has also undertaken tours with the Camerata Salzburg, Australian and Orpheus Chamber Orchestras. She has played at the BBC Proms and with all the major British orchestras, including particularly close relationships with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia, play/directing. Her recital appearances have included Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Prague and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg.
As a supporter of new music, Imogen has premiered two works at the Cheltenham International Festival; Traced Overhead by Thomas Adès (1996) and Decorated Skin by Deirdre Gribbin (2003). In 1996, she also collaborated with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker in the premiere of the quintet, Voices for Angels, written by the ensemble’s viola player, Brett Dean.
Imogen is a committed chamber musician and performs regularly with Henning Kraggerud and Adrian Brendel. As a Lieder recitalist, she has had a long collaboration with Wolfgang Holzmair in both the concert hall and recording studio. Her discography also includes Mozart Concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia (Avie), a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall (Wigmore Live) and a cycle of solo works by Schubert recorded live and released under the label ‘Schubert Live’. Her recent recordings for Chandos Records feature music by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner and Robert and Clara Schumann.
Imogen received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007 and was the recipient of an award from the Royal Philharmonic Society the following year. In 1997 she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music and in 1999 she was made a Doctor of Music at Exeter University. Imogen was the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Classical Music and Music Education at the University of Oxford for 2012-13. The Imogen Cooper Music Trust was founded in 2015, to support young pianists at the cusp of their careers, and give them time in an environment of peace and beauty.