Schumann: Arabeske; Kinderszenen; Papillons; Davidsbündlertänze; Kreisleriana; Vogel als Prophet

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Schumann
LABELS: Carlton
WORKS: Arabeske; Kinderszenen; Papillons; Davidsbündlertänze; Kreisleriana; Vogel als Prophet
PERFORMER: Fou Ts’ong (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 30366 01127 Reissue
Fou Ts’ong is a particularly stylish player of Mozart and Chopin, and he’s obviously inspired by Schumann. He hasn’t always been well served by recording engineers, but these 1989 recordings are acceptable, if a little recessed and hard. He’s both impulsive and searching, finding extra curiosities in the second piece of Kinderszenen, and an exciting sense of danger in the third piece. Argerich’s recording of Kinderszenen and Kreisleriana, made a few years earlier, was a high point in her career, and the engineers matched her sumptuous sound, brilliance and fabulous range of colours and dynamics. Fou Ts’ong doesn’t have her thrilling fluency in the opening of Kreisleriana, nor her magical touch in the most private pieces, and while he’s almost chirpy in the final number, she creates an extraordinary atmosphere of mystery. Yet Fou Ts’ong is scrupulously sensitive to Schumann’s rhythmic games and he’s almost alone in capturing the schizophrenic metrical structure of the tenth of the Davidsbündlertänze. Vogel als Prophet makes an exquisite encore. Adrian Jack

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