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04 September 2020
"Nino Gvetadze's playing is not only technically solid, easily able to handle the treacherous difficulties found in this music—particularly those in the dauntingly virtuosic Kreisleriana—but musically satisfying. Her playing is always eloquent, even in the most bombastic passages. And magically she does not underplay this music in any way: In her hands Florestan is still frenzied and driven, Eusebius, tender and plaintive. [...] I was especially not expecting a Schumann album that so immediately goes to the top of my future recommendation list. But that is what I received. This is one of the best Schumann albums I have come across in some time, one which I will enjoy over and over again. Though I have never come across Gvetadze's name before, you can be sure I will look out for it in the future. Recommended. This is essential listening. "Fanfare, 01-3-2021
Robert Schumann’s piano music is invariably bound up with the dramatic events of his life. Schumann channelled both his love for Clara and his pianistic frustrations into his music, which was often composed with Clara in mind, both romantically and musically; she was an outstanding pianist and composer in her own right.
During the late 1830s Schumann wrote numerous works for the piano, many of which met with considerable success. The Arabeske in C, Op. 18 dates from early 1839. In a letter of 15 August Schumann described the piece, which was dedicated to Frau Majorin Friederike Serre auf Maxen, as “delicate – for ladies”, and it is true that it has a gently lyrical, dreamy quality. Yet there is more to the Arabeske than this modest description would suggest. Schumann had left Leipzig for Vienna in the autumn of 1838 after reaching an impasse in his relations with the Wiecks, and the keenness with which he felt the separation from Clara may be sensed in the Arabeske’s mixture of wistfulness and determination.
Of the piano music written by Schumann in the 1830s, just two collections include movement titles: the Phantasiestücke, Op. 12, and the Kinderszenen, Op. 15 of 1838. Schumann sketched 30 “cute little things” in early 1838, from which he chose 13 to create the Kinderszenen. The vivid movement titles were attached to each of the Kinderszenen after the music had been written, rather than inspiring the musical content. Yet the tender romanticism of these pieces – in Träumerei especially – suggests that Clara was never far from Schumann’s thoughts as he composed them.
Although Clara was a powerful source of inspiration for Robert, he was also profoundly influenced by both musical and literary sources, which helped him to make sense of his rich inner world. E.T.A. Hoffmann enabled Schumann to explore the different facets of his nature through the character of Johannes Kreisler, who appeared in several volumes including Hoffmann’s Fantasiestücke, one section of which is entitled ‘Kreisleriana’. Schumann strongly identified with Kapellmeister Kreisler: both men were devoted to the music of J.S. Bach, and both veered between extremities of mood, from ecstasy to despair. This multifaceted nature is encapsulated in the eight movements of Kreisleriana, Op. 16. Kreisler’s brusque mood-swings are represented through Schumann’s contrasts between dazzling virtuosity and lyrical tenderness, often anchored by the tonal contrast between the key areas of G minor and B-flat major. Schumann’s dual nature, previously communicated through Florestan and Eusebius, had found a new mouthpiece.
In contrast with the first decade of his career, which was almost entirely given over to piano music, Schumann did not write a great deal of solo piano music in the 1840s, producing just a handful of fugues and pieces for children. At the end of 1848 he began the Waldszenen (‘Forest Scenes’), a set of nine short piano pieces. ‘Vogel als Prophet’ is one of the more disturbing pieces in the set.
Schumann had returned from Vienna to Leipzig in April 1839. He drafted his Drei Romanzen, Op. 28, by 11 December. Clara was so enamoured of the set that she insisted on being their dedicatee: “As your bride you absolutely have to dedicate something more to me; and I know of nothing more tender than these three Romances, especially the middle one, which is the most beautiful love duet.”
Born and raised in Tbilisi, Georgian pianist Nino Gvetadze leads an international career as a soloist and a chamber musician. Her performances have been praised by many critics throughout the Europe and Asia. Nino received various awards, the most important were the Second Prize, Press Prize and Audience Award at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition 2008. She became the winner of prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2010. Since 2019 Nino Gvetadze is the Artistic Leader of Naarden International Piano Festival.
Nino Gvetadze has performed with many outstanding conductors such as Michel Plasson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Michel Tabachnik, John Axelrod and Jaap van Zweden and with orchestras such as the Rotterdam, Residentie-The Hague, Brussels, Espoo-Helsinki, Warsaw, Seoul and Netherlands Philharmonic, Bergische and the Rheinische Philharmonie, Münchner Symphoniker, amongst others. She toured with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Camerata RCO and Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
Recent highlights are the performance of Ulvi Cemal Erkin’s piano concerto in Istanbul and the Variations on a nursery tune of Dohnány with the Liege Royal Philharmonic and chief conductor Gergely Madaras.
In recital Nino has performed all over the world, among other in Hannover (PRO MUSICA Preisträger amKlavier-Zyklus), Bayreuth, Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater Munich, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the Spoleto Festival, Lucerne Piano Festival, Bunka-kaikan Hall Tokyo, Kuhrhaus Wiesbaden, the Festival Piano aux Jacobins (Toulouse), Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Finland). In the Netherlands Nino is a regular guest at Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven and Edesche Concertzaal. Since 2008 Nino plays in the "Arosa Trio" with her colleagues Frederieke Saeijs and Maja Bogdanovic.
Nino Gvetadze is a Challenge Classics artist. On her 2nd album “Visions” she presents piano pieces of the English composer Cyril Scott. Music journal “Pianist” wrote about her first CD “Ghosts” with the 24 Préludes of Chopin: ‘Gvetadze makes the listener - partly thanks to the wonderful recording - companion of the most intimate thoughts’. Repertoire that has been released on other labels: piano works by Mussorgsky (Brilliant Classics), Rachmaninoff Preludes op 23 and op 32 (Etcetera), “Debussy” with the Préludes book I, Estampes and Claire de Lune (Orchid) and “Widmung” with Liszt piano works (Orchid). The Debussy CD was editor’s choice of both International Record Review (April 2014).
In Tbilisi Nino studied with Veronika Tumanishvili, Nodar Gabunia and Nana Khubutia. After her graduation Nino moved to the Netherlands to study with Paul Komen and Jan Wijn. Nino plays on a Steinway Grand Piano, kindly lent to her by the Dutch National Music Instrument Foundation.
Nino Gvetadze's playing is not only technically solid, easily able to handle the treacherous difficulties found in this music—particularly those in the dauntingly virtuosic Kreisleriana—but musically satisfying. Her playing is always eloquent, even in the most bombastic passages. And magically she does not underplay this music in any way: In her hands Florestan is still frenzied and driven, Eusebius, tender and plaintive. [...] I was especially not expecting a Schumann album that so immediately goes to the top of my future recommendation list. But that is what I received. This is one of the best Schumann albums I have come across in some time, one which I will enjoy over and over again. Though I have never come across Gvetadze's name before, you can be sure I will look out for it in the future. Recommended. This is essential listening.
The tremendous artistic means at her disposal let the Schumann of this time "speak" - with very well-designed tempo nuances, a sound that is as rounded as it is rich and a sense of dramaturgical skill, with tense, delusional and ambiguous contrasts. The whole thing is so haunting that one looks into Schumann's own soul in the "Scenes from Childhood".
Piano News, 01-1-2021
Gvetadze's focus is unerring and, if the expressive content of the music is always front and centre, she also has an uncanny ability to elucidate the overall structure with immensive subtlety. If you don't yet know her playing, great pleasures await.
Schumann in lockdown. According to Nino Gvetadze, we all have those two opposites in us. During the lockdown they became even more tangible.
It’s an absolutely lovely disc. It speaks clearly and personally to you, if you give it a listen. I found it very rewarding.
BBC Radio3 , 26-10-2020
Her new CD, with its purpose – in her own words, to brighten an hour in this year of “loneliness, isolation, and silence” – is an unalloyed delight.
What struck me the most, besides the accurate but personal characterization of the pieces, was hearing all the notes, all the polyphony in full clarity without losing the general line.
Musique classique & Co, 17-9-2020
What struck me the most, besides the right but personal characterization of the pieces, was hearing all the notes, all the polyphony in full clarity, without losing the general line. [...] A discovery.
Musique classique & Co, 17-9-2020
Her playing is captivating in the modest and natural phrasing. In addition, Gvetadze Schumann's tender moments or his musical outbursts manage to give the required intensity without any emphasis.
When Nino Gvetadze's fingers touch the keys of the grand piano and the opening bars of Robert Schumann's Arabesque sound, you forget what you were doing. Gvetadze's mesmerizing touch and round sound are enchanting.
De Volkskrant, 10-9-2020
Important qualities in Schumann's piano oeuvre that are actually perfectly expressed in the sublime art of rendering of the Georgian Nino Gvetadze, who lives and works in our country.
Opus Klassiek, 04-9-2020
Pianist Nino Gvetadze lets her listeners wander admiringly through the shadowy realm of Robert Schumann.
Sorceress on the 88 keys!
Het Parool, 29-8-2020
Nino Gvetadze, Einsam, Robert Schumann on the Challenge Classics label. Beautiful piano playing.