|March 27, 2019|
|Liszt Academy, Solti Hall|
Schumann: Five Pieces in Folk Style, Op. 102
Schumann: Ballscenen (Scenes from a Ball), Op. 109
Schumann: Piano Quartet in C minor, WoO 32
Antje Weithaas (violin), Máté Szűcs (viola), István Várdai (cello), Izabella Simon, Dénes Várjon (piano)
The winter of 1848/49 and the months thereafter proved to be an astonishingly fertile period in the life of Schumann. His chamber works with various instrumentalizations created around this time speak of extremely concentrated work; Five Pieces in the Popular Style written for cello and piano took just three days. Its plain structure and Biedermeier images evoke an intimate atmosphere of music-making at home. The same holds true for Scenes from a Ball (1851) composed as a piano four-hand, which is a showy garland for the fashionable dances of the age – Polonaise, Walzer, Ungarisch, Française, Mazurka, Ecossaise, Walzer.
Contrary to all that has gone so far, the Piano Quartet in C minor (1829) is the work of Schumann at the dawn of his career: he was just 19 when he completed it. We learn from his diary that even decades later he clearly remembered a defining moment in the process of putting this quartet together: while writing the middle part of the third movement “a spirit [of Romanticism] different from earlier music manifested itself, and a new poetic life appeared to disclose itself to me”. Despite this, he did not consider the piece worthy of being put into print and it had to wait until 1979 before being published.