Staying in Touch With Schumann
This week, I’ve selected the first movement from Schumann’s beautiful Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op.47 performed by Susie Park, Stefanie Farrands, Timo-Veikko Valve and yours truly – to listen please click on the yellow underlined words.
Robert Schumann is one of those enigmatic figures whose astonishing intellect, professional generosity and ability to tell the most human of stories through his music has made him one of my favourites. It has been said of this movement that it reflects Schumann’s study of Beethoven’s string quartets, especially the master’s Op.127 in the same key, whose structure and treatment of the thematic material may have been Schumann’s inspiration for this incredible opening movement.
I’m always interested in first performances, especially as the performers had no real idea they were actually making history! The Piano Quartet was written for Count Matvei Wielhorsky, an aristocratic cellist, who played in the premiere, along with the great violin virtuoso Ferdinand David, Danish composer Niels W. Gade on viola, and Clara Schumann at the keyboard. What a line-up!!!
To hear the full work and the concert in which it was performed (A Final Offering), along with our introductions, please visit my website.
The cancelled 2020 tour this filmed concert replaced was to feature music that reflected original violinist Vesa, Umberto and my personal heritage with works by Sibelius (Finland), Martucci (Italy) and Dvorak (Czechoslovakia) – we all decided upon Mozart as a unifiying force. Andrew, who took Vesa’s place, agreed.
One critic has described this second movement as one of calm reassurance – perhaps what we all need a little more of right now!
To hear the full work and the concert in which it was performed (Let’s Get Personal), along with our introductions, please visit my website.