“Schumann is a great explorer of the soul and the heart, and his works are like the distilled essence of our own emotions, presented with utter strength and conviction – covering a broad spectrum while always remaining poetic, full-blooded, and life-affirming.
For me it is in the small musical scenes that Schumann is at his best, his imagination unconstrained by the requirements of large-scale structures, and the shorter duration of each number allowing an abundant amount of musical material to be presented.
The three works on this CD are a kaleidoscopic swirl, richly varied, with scenes, moods and characters shifting quickly before our eyes, offering musical material of such purity that it attaches itself to the performer as a second skin, lowering the emotional barriers and making you feel that you have lived through all that Schumann had written in notes.”
The three works on this recording are collections of short pieces, strung together and forming a cohesive whole—a form which Schumann himself invented, developed and brought to perfection. Davidsbündlertänze (Dances of the League of David) was written after Schumann’s engagement to Clara Wieck, to whom he wrote, ‘If I have ever been happy at the piano, it was when I was composing these.’ Papillons (Butterflies) is the work of a youthful, unfettered imagination, and Carnaval is one of his most popular pieces, a display of both technique and emotion. Boris Giltburg, who took first prize at the 2013 Queen Elisabeth Competition, is one of today’s most exciting young pianists, lauded for his ‘massive and engulfing technique, supporting interpretations that glow with warmth and poetic commitment’ (Gramophone).
Watch the recording session for Schumann’s Carnaval with Boris Giltburg and producer Andrew Keener
Listen to an excerpt from Carnaval Op. 9: No. 9 Papillons
Listen to Rick Phillips' podcast In two minds
About the Artist
The young Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg has recently been attracting the attention of a growing world-wide audience. In 2013 he won first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, catapulting his career to a new level. In the following months he played at the Vienna Musikverein, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Southbank Centre, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Colmar Festival, and with the Seattle Symphony, London Philharmonic and St Petersburg Philharmonic orchestras. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2010, has toured regularly to South America and China, and has also toured Germany with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. In 2014 he began a long-term recording plan with Naxos Records; his first release is featured here.
Companion discs featuring the music of Robert Schumann
“There is sensitivity aplenty in the fifth volume of the Idil Biret Solo Edition…Biret is a thoughtful pianist, never flashy, with plenty of technique but a willingness to subsume it into the music in order to interpret the works as sensitively as possible.” – Infodad.com
“The Turkish pianist is a wonderful interpreter of Schumann, sensitive to the moods and nuances of every bar of every piece and using her technical prowess not to showcase virtuosity for its own sake but to draw out the meaning and emotional power of the music.” – Infodad.com
“The performance [of the Quintet] here is a strong one: there is some sense that the quartet members defer to Biret, but never unduly so, with the balance among the players generally finely honed and nicely cooperative. The quintet is coupled with Biret’s highly impressive performance of the Symphonic Etudes.” – Infodad.com