JÖRG WIDMANN (b.1973): 11 Humoresken (interspersed with 6 pieces from various piano cycles by Robert Schumann), 11 Zirkustänze*, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Papillons, Op. 2. * - First Recording.
Catalogue Number: 08S060
Label: Ars Produktion
Reference: ARS 38 213
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Widmann feels a compositional affinity with Schumann, frequently expressed in his works through allusion and quotation - see for instance 03M107 from a few years ago. His suite of lighthearted, sometimes puppet-show grotesque and sinister Circus Dances and Humoresques provides the excuse for this slightly far-fetched 'concept album' pairing his pieces with various Schumann works which have a similar overall æsthetic or are directly referenced in Widmann's pieces. Sometimes the Schumann references are explicit; in other cases a title, performance direction or mood is the linking factor, but in all cases one senses the contemporary composer seeking to do the same sort of thing that his illustrious Romantic predecessor was up to in his miniatures, but in his own, contemporary language, with a similar regard for and skill with piano writing. A frequent device is to write something very tonal and innocent that could almost be derived from Schumann, then overlay an harmonically daring or bitonal commentary on it, as though as to directly address the tortured thought-processes behind the creation of the older composer's most charming and beguiling works. Luisa Imorde (piano).