Beethoven, Ludwig van - Clara - Schirmer, Ragna (piano)

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The Clara expert “Ragna’s intensive engagement with Clara gave me the feeling at times that Clara herself was sitting at the piano,” says the French conductor Ariane Matiakh with great enthusiasm following the recording of this CD. Such a comparison pays the pianist great respect, though the perception is not plucked out of thin air. For more than 30 years now Ragna Schirmer has been researching the composer, pianist and persona of Clara Schumann. Even as a schoolgirl learning the piano, she admired the nineteenth-century artist’s apparent dexterity; later on, she read biographies, diaries and the entire correspondence – in short, everything pertaining to Clara Schumann. Ragna Schirmer not only greatly admires the composer’s works; she is fascinated by Clara’s character and her diverse roles as a pianist, mother and emancipated artist. A few years ago she discovered an old salon grand piano built by Bluthner and dating back to 1856, which she had restored at great expense. This allowed her to approach Clara Schumann’s art of playing more authentically than before; indeed, she still gives recitals on the instrument. During her years of study she wrote essays about Clara and to this day she maintains frequent contact with musicologists and historians. If there is a recognised expert on Clara Schumann who is simultaneously one of Germany’s most successful pianists of today, then it is Ragna Schirmer. This recording marks the fulfilment of a long-held wish by Ragna Schirmer: to suitably mark the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann, on September 13, 2019. That wish has grown into a large-scale long-term project, following on from her CD “Liebe in Variationen” released in 2015, which looked at the musical messages of affection and love between Robert and Clara Schumann and their friend Johannes Brahms. Due for release on September 8, 2017, the present recording combines Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor op. 7 with the Fourth Piano Concerto in G major by Ludwig van Beethoven, which Clara Schumann played in more than 50 concerts and for which she wrote her own cadenzas. To make this live recording, Ragna Schirmer invited the conductor Ariane Matiakh to the place she has chosen to live, Halle an der Saale. “She has the ability to coax the tenderest tones from the orchestra while storing up expressive power and vast energy for the evening’s dramatic moments,” writes Ragna Schirmer. Two modern-day artists thus discover the artist Clara Schumann in the here and now – at the highest musical level! What’s more, after her studies of well over 1000 archived programme leaflets, Ragna Schirmer plans to give a host of “musical soirees in the style of Madame Schumann” from now until the composer’s 200th birthday in September 2019 and beyond. These concerts will not only take place at the same locations where Clara herself performed: the audience will experience Ms Schirmer playing almost the same programme as her idol. And if there is not a grand piano available at any location? Then Ragna Schirmer will bring along her very own “Clara Schumann” grand, which may lead some members of the audience to enquire after the concert: “Was that Clara or Ragna at the piano today?”
Artikelnummer 0300928BC
Streckkod 0885470009285
Utgivningsdatum 2017-10-06
Kategori Klassiskt
Skivbolag Berlin Classics
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Artister Schirmer, Ragna (piano)
Dirigenter Matiakh, Ariane
Kompositörer Beethoven, Ludwig van
Schumann, Clara
Orkestrar Staatskapelle Halle
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