Schumann and the cello: we may think of the fine, late and rhapsodic Cello Concerto, or the lighter Stücke im Volkston, much beloved of cello students this past century and a half. But here is something different: songs, piano works – including the complete Kinderszenen cycle – and the Second Violin Sonata, all arranged for cello and piano.
The arrangements were made by Friedrich Grützmacher, that indefatigable populariser of the cello in mid-19th-century Germany and tireless appropriater and editor of other men’s music for the cello at a time when his instrument had to get by on precious few original pieces – the Vivaldi concertos, for example, were still stuck in Venetian libraries and would stay there for another century. But Grützmacher edited the Bach Cello Suites, the Haydn Concertos and pieces by Boccherini, to make them better known, and indeed to adapt them to 19th-century ways of doing things. He it was, also who gave the first performance of the Stücke im Volkston.
No such problems of era exist with these Schumann arrangements, which vary from comparatively straight transcription (in the case of the Second Violin Sonata) to thoroughgoing and imaginative realisation, in the case of Kinderszenen. Grützmacher shows that these pieces may happily belong to the cello, and even gain a certain mellow charm thereby, especially when played, as they are here, by a young performer of ardent and thoughtful sympathy.
- First recordings, made in 2010
- Indluding booklet notes written by the perfomer.