Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Vladimir Sofronitsky Plays Schumann

The first edition of the Symphonic Studies, in 1837 carried an annotation that the tune was "the composition of an amateur": this referred to the origin of the theme, which had been sent to Schumann by Baron von Fricken, guardian of Ernestine von Fricken, the Estrella of his Carnaval Op. 9. The baron, an amateur musician, had used the melody in a Theme with Variations for flute. Schumann had been engaged to Ernestine in 1834, only to break abruptly with her the year after. An autobiographical element is thus interwoven in the genesis of the Études symphoniques (as in that of many other masterpieces of Schumann's). Of the sixteen variations Schumann composed on Fricken's theme, only eleven were published by him. (An early version, completed between 1834 and January 1835, contained twelve movements). The final, twelfth, published étude was a variation on the theme from the Romance Du stolzes England freue dich (Proud England, rejoice!), from Heinrich Marschner's opera Der Templer und die Jüdin, which was based on Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. The earlier Fricken theme occasionally appears briefly during this étude. The work was first published in 1837 as XII Etudes Symphoniques. Only nine of the twelve études were specifically designated as "variation". Other titles had been considered in September 1834: Variations pathétiques and Etuden im Orchestercharakter von Florestan und Eusebius. In this latter case the Études would have been signed by two imaginary figures in whom Schumann personified two essential, opposite and complementary aspects of his own personality and his own poetic world. 'Florestan and Eusebius' then signed the Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6; but only in the 1835 version of the Études symphoniques were the pieces divided so as to emphasize the alternation of more lyrical, melancholy and introvert pages (Eusebius) with those of a more excitable and dynamic nature (Florestan). In the 1837 version Florestan prevails. Fifteen years later, in a second edition (Leipzig 1852), the 1837 title Études symphoniques became Études en forme de variations, two studies (Nos. 3 and 9) that did not correspond to the new title (not being exactly variations) were eliminated, and some revisions were made in the piano writing. The entire work was dedicated to Schumann's English friend, the pianist and composer William Sterndale Bennett. Bennett played the piece frequently in England to great acclaim, but Schumann thought it was unsuitable for public performance and advised his wife Clara not to play it.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphonic_Studies_%28Schumann%29

Vladimir Sofronitsky


Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13
1 Thema - Andante  1:25
2 Variation I [Etude I] - Un poco più vivo  1:09
3 Posthumous n° 1  0:46
4 Variation II  1:49
5 Etude III  0:52
6 Variation III  0:53
7 Variation IV  0:33
8 Posthumous n° 4  1:55
9 Variation V  0:44
10 Variation VI  0:47
11 Posthumous n° 2  1:55
12 Posthumous n° 5  1:48
13 Variation VII - Allegro molto  1:37
14 Etude IX - Presto possibile  0:36
15 Variation VIII - Allegro  0:42
16 Variation IX - Andante con espressione  2:25
17 Finale  6:22
Recorded live in 1959

Novelletten, Op. 21
18 N° 1 5:21
19 N° 8 in F sharp minor  12:00
Studio recordings, 1953

20 Arabesque, Op. 18  6:18
Recorded live in 1952

Bunte Blätter, Op. 99
Drei Stücken
21 I. Nicht schnell, mit Innigkeit  2:09
22 II. Sehr rasch  0:48
23 III.  0:48
Fünf Albumblätter
24 IV. Ziemlich langsam  1:52
25 V. Schnell  0:38
26 VI. Ziemlich langsam, sehr gesangvoll  1:32
27 VIII. Sehr langsam  1:29
28 VIII. Langsam  1:18
Studio recording, 1950

Fantasiestïcke, Op. 12
29 Des Abends  3:03

Arabesque, Op. 18  6:11
Recorded live in 1959

Vladimir Sofronitsky - p


Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you!!

Anonymous said...

thank you... I do believe that you know how many people are enjoying this great music that you share here... another thing regarding classical music that is posted here: http://www.leginska.org/ , now that's a really rare thing ...
once again thank you !

Ricky said...

the guy was just a magician. never rushed, never in a hurry, always playing according to the spirit of the music... despite pianos that sound like they should be in a Dodge City saloon, being played by a guy with a cigar and a bowler hat.

La Danse de Puck said...

Hi, glad to have found these Sofro recordings here. A friend on another forum pointed me to them.... These are really rare items to get. Glad to see you again!

Ponis said...

Please re-post.

Melanchthon said...