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See latest reviews of other albums..., July 2013

This is the third consecutive all-Schumann disc in this particular series showcasing Biret’s fine pianism, and like the two immediately preceding it, it is excellent. 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. The eight movements of Fantasiestücke are simply splendid here…[In] Bunte Blätter…Biret’s skill and sensitivity are everywhere evident…Biret finds beauty and even profundity in Schumann’s short works, and her mixture of technical prowess and emotional expressiveness serves the music very well indeed. © 2013 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2013

The information that comes with the disc tells us nothing regarding the provenance of these recordings though they are among the best issues in this Biret retrospect. Having reviewed the sizeable collection of discs already released, I will give but a brief resume of the long career enjoyed by the Turkish-born pianist, Idil Biret, who had made her first recording in 1949 at the age of eight. She was the much loved pupil of Nadia Boulanger in Paris before spending time with Alfred Cortot and Wilhelm Kempff, embarking on a concert career at the young age of sixteen. Stylistically she carried forward the rather mixed influences of her mentors, at times following in Cortot’s ‘throw caution to the wind’ approach, though more inclined towards the elegance, songfulness and circumspection of Kempff. Her Schumann has been justly admired, and with this composer she is a Kempff advocate, as you will discover when comparing their approach to Bunte Blatter on disc. The shape of the performance has the ebb and flow of a gentle wind, that propels the music forward without haste. Its use of cameo length pieces to construct a work not far short of forty minutes, can, in lesser hands, sound fragmented. Here there is unity, and a long-term view of its overall shape. The recording was apparently made in Dublin in 1983, and one can well imagine a ‘live’ broadcast performance of exemplary sound quality. Then we jump forward seventeen years, and to Nuremberg, for her recording of Fantasiestucke, and find a much more personal approach, the beauty of her account made clear by the limpid quality of the opening Des Abends (In the evenings). © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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