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Robert Schumann Piano Works

Llŷr Williams

Robert Schumann Piano Works

Price: € 22.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212075623
Catnr: SIGCD 756
Release date: 12 January 2024
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212075623
Catalogue number
SIGCD 756
Release date
12 January 2024
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Robert Schumann knew exactly who was listening in secret to his Fantasie in C major (Op.17) when he inscribed this verse by the poet and philosopher Friedrich Schlegel at the head of the published score in 1839. When he composed the magisterial work in 1836 Schumann was in a state of utter despair: he wanted marry the brilliant young pianist Clara Wieck with whom he was secretly engaged but who was nine years his junior. Although he’d known her as a little girl – and even lived in the same house in Leipzig when studying with her possessive father Friedrich – an innocent friendship gradually developed by November 1835 into a deep and passionate love. Herr Wieck was furious that such a dangerous and – to him – impossible liaison had developed right under his nose and now did everything in his power to keep the two apart. The full story of his desperate campaign is harrowing and often degrading for Schumann; it wasn’t until September 1840, after surmounting all sorts of legal obstacles, that the couple finally could marry – on the eve of Clara’s 21st birthday. But an unintended consequence of their enforced separation was that Schumann poured out his deepest feelings – from anguish and despair to ecstasy and hope – in a torrent of piano works which are effectively a series
of private letters to Clara.

She was thus enabled to follow his emotions, yearnings and exhortations as if reading a series of coded letters – and we are the lucky eavesdroppers perched on her shoulders as she scans the pages with rapture and excitement, recognising – in the Fantasy – quotations from Beethoven’s iconic song-cycle An die ferne Geliebte (To the distant beloved) as well as other private musical messages. Schumann told her that it was ‘the most passionate thing I have ever written – a profound lament for you’.

Artist(s)

Llŷr Williams (piano)

“To my ears, Llŷr Williams is one of the great pianists of our age.” John Gilhooly, CBE. Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence, and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations. He has performed with all the major UK orchestras under conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Jiří Bělohlávek, Carlo Rizzi, Vasily Petrenko, Jaime Martín, Osmo Vanska , Joseph Swensen, Grant Llewellyn and Jac Van Steen, and he has a particularly longstanding relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he has in recent seasons performed concertos ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Bartók and Mathias. As a recitalist, Llŷr Williams regularly performs at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Perth Concert Hall, the St David’s and Dora Stoutzker Halls...
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“To my ears, Llŷr Williams is one of the great pianists of our age.” John Gilhooly, CBE.
Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence, and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations. He has performed with all the major UK orchestras under conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Jiří Bělohlávek, Carlo Rizzi, Vasily Petrenko, Jaime Martín, Osmo Vanska , Joseph Swensen, Grant Llewellyn and Jac Van Steen, and he has a particularly longstanding relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he has in recent seasons performed concertos ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Bartók and Mathias.
As a recitalist, Llŷr Williams regularly performs at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Perth Concert Hall, the St David’s and Dora Stoutzker Halls in Cardiff, and the Edinburgh and East Neuk Festivals in the UK, Salle Bourgie in Montreal and the Capital Region Classical series in Schenectady, USA. He has a long association with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he has, among others, given multi-recital cycles of the music of Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin. As a chamber musician he has performed with artists including Bryn Terfel, Natalie Clein, Tim Hugh, Katarina Nazarova, Jamie Barton and Andrei Kymach. His particular interest in song repertoire is reflected in his 20-year association as one of the two official pianists of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
Llŷr Williams’ long and successful collaboration with Signum Records includes the 8-disc box-set ‘A Schubert Journey’ (2020), the 12-volume ‘Beethoven Unbound’ (2018), a ‘Wagner Without Words’ double album (2014) and highlights from Liszt’s ‘Années de pèlerinage‘ (2012).
A former BBC New Generation Artist and Borletti-Buitoni Trust award recipient, Llŷr Williams was born in Pentrebychan, North Wales, and read music at The Queen’s College, Oxford before taking up a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and in 2017 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wales. He is also currently Artist-in-Association at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, a patron of the Gower Festival, and Associate Artist at the Cowbridge Festival.


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Composer(s)

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing. Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in...
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Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.
Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in C are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.
In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favour of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which, before her marriage, formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.
Schumann suffered from a mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to a mental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

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Disc #1
01.
Fantasy Op. 17: I. Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen
13:31
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
02.
Fantasy Op. 17: II. Mässig, Durchaus energisch
08:17
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
03.
Fantasy Op. 17: III. Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten
10:49
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
04.
Papillons, Op. 2: Introduzione and No. 1
01:01
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
05.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 2
00:21
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
06.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 3
00:51
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
07.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 4
00:48
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
08.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 5
01:31
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
09.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 6
00:57
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
10.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 7
00:54
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
11.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 8
01:11
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
12.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 9
00:44
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
13.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 10
01:47
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
14.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 11
02:30
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
15.
Papillons, Op. 2: No. 12
02:19
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
16.
Humoreske, Op. 20: I. Einfach. Sehr rasch und leicht
05:23
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
17.
Humoreske, Op. 20: II. Hastig
04:21
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
18.
Humoreske, Op. 20: III. Einfach und zart; Intermezzo
05:04
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
19.
Humoreske, Op. 20: IV. Innig
02:41
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
20.
Humoreske, Op. 20: V. Sehr lebhaft
03:42
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
21.
Humoreske, Op. 20: VI. Zum Beschluss
06:17
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams

Disc #2
01.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: I. Lebhaft
01:52
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
02.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: II. Innig
01:37
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
03.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: III. Mit Humor
01:25
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
04.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: IV. Ungeduldig
00:47
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
05.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: V. Einfach
01:57
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
06.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: VI. Sehr rasch
01:58
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
07.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: VII. Nicht schnell
03:24
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
08.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: VIII. Frisch
00:57
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
09.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: IX. Lebhaft
01:29
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
10.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: X. Balladenmäßig; Sehr rasch
01:47
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
11.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XI. Einfach
01:35
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
12.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XII. Mit Humor
00:44
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
13.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XIII. Wild und lustig
03:34
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
14.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XIV. Zart und singend
01:57
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
15.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XV. Frisch
01:58
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
16.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XVI. Mit gutem Humor
01:29
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
17.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XVII. Wie aus der Ferne
04:23
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
18.
Davidsbündlertänze. Op. 6: XVIII. Nicht schnell
01:58
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
19.
Nachtstücke, Op. 23: I. Mehr langsam, oft zurückhaltend
05:31
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
20.
Nachtstücke, Op. 23: II. Markirt und lebhaft
06:48
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
21.
Nachtstücke, Op. 23: III. Mit grosser Lebhaftigkeit
03:53
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
22.
Nachtstücke, Op. 23: IV. Einfach
04:01
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
23.
Faschingsschwank aus Wein, Op. 26: I. Allegro. Sehr lebhaft
09:30
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
24.
Faschingsschwank aus Wein, Op. 26: II. Romanze
02:47
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
25.
Faschingsschwank aus Wein, Op. 26: III. Scherzino
02:18
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
26.
Faschingsschwank aus Wein, Op. 26: IV. Intermezzo
02:25
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
27.
Faschingsschwank aus Wein, Op. 26: V. Finale
05:56
(Robert Schumann) Llŷr Williams
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