Combining communicative performances with engaging programming, this release is dedicated to Schumann’s music for cello and piano – works that were written after a period devoted almost exclusively to the piano, and whose aim it was to extend musical knowledge and practice.
Indeed, in surveying some of the composer’s most acclaimed works, such as the Piano Quintet Op.44 and Three Romances Op.94 (originally scored for oboe), the compilation also features the linchpin of Schumann’s work, J.S. Bach. Bach’s contrapuntal influence on the composer was immense, and it is therefore unsurprising that Schumann arranged a number of his works – including the complete solo cello suites. Suite No.3 is the one chosen for this release, and is coupled with the Sarabande from No.5 in C minor, this time arranged by F.W. Grützmacher. One of the 19th century’s most acclaimed cellists, Grützmacher played a major role in widening appreciation of significant works, and the compilation offers five such transcriptions by this highly adept arranger.
Teaming up once again to deliver consummate readings of these works are the seasoned Duo Dillon-Torquati, both of whom enjoy busy international careers. The release is a worthy follow-up to their previous two for Brilliant Classics (Grützmacher’s transcriptions of Schumann’s piano and vocal music, 94060; Liszt’s complete works for cello and piano, 94150) and provides a fascinating insight into the esteem with which composers and performers have responded to each other’s music.
- Recorded 23–24 July 2012, Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’arte, Banna, Italy.
- An original programme featuring works for cello and piano by Schumann, arrangements of works written originally for other instruments.
- Schumann himself left the choice of instrument open for some of his works: the clarinet, oboe and cello often changed roles. The Romanzen Op. 94 were originally for oboe and piano, but work very well played on the cello, as arranged by the famous 19th century cellist Grützmacher. Also the violin sonata Op. 105 fares excellently through the golden, melancholy sonorities of the cello.
- Schumann lived his whole life under the spell of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, and as a tribute to Bach’s genius Schumann added a piano part to the famous Cello Suites.
- This is the second issue of Schumann transcriptions for cello by the duo Francesco Dillon/Emanuele Torquati. Their earlier issue, BC 94150, received enthusiastic comment in the international press: “comes across with vibrant conviction” (Musicweb International).
- Includes comprehensive booklet notes and biographies of the performers.