Imogen Cooper plays Brahms and Schumann
This CD is Volume 1 in Imogen Cooper’s new series dedicated to the complete works for piano by Robert Schumann.
Let me begin with a few Spotify audio excerpts from my playlist titled “Hank’s Imogen Cooper”:
The works on this CD are:
- Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet, Op. 18)
- Arranged for solo piano by Brahms
- Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
- Kreisleriana, Op. 16
Performed by Imogen Cooper (piano)
Imogen Cooper has established a reputation as one of the finest interpreters of the classical and romantic repertoire. She has impressed audiences with her unique musical understanding and the lyrical quality of her playing.
On this recording, she offers her interpretations of two works byRobert Schumann: Fantasiestücke and Kreisleriana. Both display in full Schumann’s extraordinary ability to express the gamut of human emotions in a highly imaginative language that draws the best from both piano and performer.
Schumann dedicated his ‘Fantasiestücke’ to a young Scottish pianist by the name of Roberta Laidlaw, with whom he had a close, if brief, relationship during his eighteen-month-long separation from Clara Wieck, whom he was courting at that time.
‘Kreisleriana’ was inspired by a complex character created by the writer E.T.A Hoffmann. Schumann’s Kreisleriana seems to take on the very same alternating characteristics that are ascribed by Hoffmann to this character. At times the music comes across as wild, eccentric, and clever, at others it displays a mood that is truly tender, lyrical, and romantic.
The last work on this disc is the solo piano arrangement, which Johannes Brahms made of the Theme and Variations movement from his String Sextet, Op. 18
Here is Imogen Cooper performing the ImpromptusNo. 4 in A-flat by Schubert:
And next, here are Imogen Cooper and Paul Lewis playing Schubert’s Fantasie in F minor, Op. 103; this is one of my all-time favorite works by Franz Schubert.
Tags: Imogen Cooper, Schumann, Brahms