SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto; Introduction & Allegro appassionato; Introduction & Concert Allegro, CD review

Joy emanates from Angela Hewett's piano playing on this Schumann CD, writes Geoffrey Norris.

Angela Hewitt (piano), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, cond Hannu Lintu

Hyperion CDA67885, £12.99

The sense of joy that infallibly emanates from Angela Hewitt’s piano playing is fully evident here in three works by Schumann – the A minor Concerto, the Introduction and Allegro appassionato Op92 and the Introduction and Concert Allegro Op 134.

Hewitt understands the character and perspective of this music. There is no element of grandstanding in the Concerto. Nothing in the interpretation is gratuitously flamboyant. Rather, the piano enjoys intimate exchanges with the orchestra, the conductor Hannu Lintu bringing out the score’s essential instrumental timbres with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and phrasing them in such a way as to forge a complementary foil to the piano’s discreet world of expression. That is not to say that the performance lacks drama. The finale has an unusual depth and swinging impetus by dint of being taken fractionally slower than the norm, for which Hewitt proffers convincing reasoning in her liner note, and the teasing rhythmic pulls against the movement’s triple metre are woven delicately into the scheme of things.


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