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Schumann: Fantasiestuecke And Humoreske [CD]

Emanuel Ax , Schumann , None Audio CD

Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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1. Humoreske, Op. 20 - Emanuel Ax
2. Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 - Emanuel Ax

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Review

Beautiful sound and playing as well as superior musicianship-the reliable Ax mix. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Sept'12

CD Description

Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. His studies at the Juilliard School were supported by the sponsorship of the Epstein Scholarship Program of the Boys Clubs of America, and he subsequently won the Young Concert Artists Award. Additionally, he attended Columbia University, where he majored in French. Emanuel Ax captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In recognition of the bicentenaries of Chopin and Schumann in 2010 and in partnership with Londons Barbican, Amsterdams Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, Ax has commissioned new works from composers John Adams, Peter Lieberson and Osvaldo Golijov. He has performed many works by contemporary composers, and his recordings of Haydn Sonatas received several Grammy awards.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite music making 23 Jan 2012
By Warren Harris - Published on Amazon.com
The Schumann Humoreske, Op. 20, and Fantasiestucke, Op. 12, are two of his greatest works, and I was excited to find that Emanuel Ax was performing both of them on this disc. And my goodness, does it live up to expectations. The Humoreske, dedicated to Clara Wieck whom he deeply loved, consists of a series of moods and emotions, each sensitively and virtuosically played by Mr. Ax. Right away, from the first notes of the "Einfach. Sehr rasch und leicht", you know that you are in for something very, very special. The entire performance is warm and loving and longing and captivating and...well...add as many adjectives here as you like, but it is quite simply fantastic.

The Fantasiestucke, Op. 12, written approximately two years prior to the Humoreske, had literary inspiration that was well suited to Schumann, giving him a referent to depict two sides of his musical personality. The well-written liner notes give the appropriate background detail, but the piece speaks for itself. The quiet, more introspective side is expressed through gentile, touching music that is caressingly played by Mr. Ax. The more aggressive side features more driven, energetic music (particularly in the 2nd movement), and this too is played just right - not too strong, not too maniacally, but in balance with the health of the piece as a whole. This is especially evident in the 5th movement ("In Der Nacht"), which moves forward incessantly as the energy just has to go somewhere. The two halves seem to reconcile with each other in the last two movements - it is not uncommon for this merging to come across awkwardly, but not with Mr. Ax at the keyboard.

This recording is fantastic. Highly Recommended!
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