Schumann: Kinderszenen; Papillons; Carnaval

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Schumann
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Kinderszenen; Papillons; Carnaval
PERFORMER: Jenö Jandó (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 8.550784 DDD
The Hungarian pianist Jenö Jandó has already recorded all Mozart’s piano concertos and sonatas and all Beethoven’s sonatas on the Naxos label. Undertakings of that sort require a range of imagination which few pianists possess; too often they’re left to competent plodders.

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Jandó’s playing on these two discs is strong and reliable but without much imaginative spark. The disc with Kinderszenen is marginally the better of the two, since that cycle gains from his straightforward approach, while Papillons and Carnaval are appropriately enthusiastic. Many other qualities in Carnaval are missed, but the lack of poetry or variety of keyboard colour seem to matter more in Kreisleriana, while the intimate tenderness of the Arabeske and the confessional quality of the coda of Faschingsschwank go unsuspected. Schumann is not such plain sailing as this. Adrian Jack