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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talk about a bargain!
This is a great bargain of (nearly) all of Schumann's piano music, and the best complete set I have come across. The five star rating reflects more the value-for-money element of having such good performances of the complete music, even if there are better performances of individual pieces around. There are plenty of highlights here: the Fantasiestucke is among the best I...
Published on 22 Aug 2011 by Elpenor

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18 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wrong piano
Despite the claim passed on by J. Gibbons in his review of this set that the piano used was one made in 1839 by Conrad Graf in Vienna, that is not true. The Graf piano was one owned by Robert Schumann himself and was used by Demus to record Schumann piano music in the 1970s but that is a completely different recording. The piano used on this set sounds to be a rich, ripe...
Published on 4 Oct 2010 by Eric Shanes


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talk about a bargain!, 22 Aug 2011
This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
This is a great bargain of (nearly) all of Schumann's piano music, and the best complete set I have come across. The five star rating reflects more the value-for-money element of having such good performances of the complete music, even if there are better performances of individual pieces around. There are plenty of highlights here: the Fantasiestucke is among the best I have heard, Demus brings out the Florestan and Eusebius element of the music without histrionics - the soaring bass lines in Aufschwung are exceptional. Great Kinderszenen too, with a very moving ending. The Humoreske is a fantastic interpretation too, as well as the Nachtstucke and Gesange der Fruhe. Some pieces receive a bit workman-like interpretations (Kreisleriana, Carnaval and Davidsbundlertanze aren't as inspired for example), but there are no bad performances here. Sound quality is occasionally variable, but passable nonetheless.

No booklet or information inside, just the music and track listing. But at this price, it's an unmissable bargain. And, a clarification on the piano Demus uses: he has indeed recorded Schumann on a period instrument, but this isn't it - he uses a modern Bosendorfer here.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Collection, 23 Nov 2009
By 
J. Gibbons (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
Any recording by Jorg Demus is well worth hearing - he is after all one of the finest pianists of the last fifty years and should be better known. Here are his 1970's recordings of (almost) all of Schumann's piano music - much of it relatively little known - in performances of great insight, poetic feeling, and technical dexterity. Demus's interpretations are always historically informed and his Schumann may well well come as a surprise to those used to the vituoso approach other of other pianists like Horowitz who are, of course, playing in the tradition pioneered by Liszt.

Those who are familiar with the recordings of Fanny Davies, Adelina de Lara, and other pupils of his widow Clara will know there is another, less demonstrative, way of playing Schumann and which, it can be argued, is the most authentic. Jorg Demus's cycle is in this tradition and I find his performances in this set totally convincing and very enjoyable.

The piano Demus uses is interesting but, infuriatingly, I can't find out what it was. It certainly wasn't a modern Steinway; could it have been a mid-nineteenth century instrument? It certainly sounds similar to the Broadwood which Chopin used. Although not in perfect condition, it is absolutely ideal for the music.

Unfortunately, the recording quality is only average and, although it doesn't greatly detract from the music, this fact should be mentioned.

A truly delightful set which deserves to be in the collection of all who love piano music of the romantic era.

[I have just been informed by P W Fussey that Demus played a piano made in Vienna by Conrad Graf in 1839]
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utter Bargain, 17 Oct 2008
By 
Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
This ultra-budget CD boxed set contains pretty much evrything that Robert Schumann wrote for piano all played by the great Jorg Demus. 13 full CDs recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s in good analogue sound.

No notes and only the barest of infomation provided.

You might hold back due to the cheapness of this set in the expectation that it's rubbish - it really is very good and ridiculously good value for money.

Go ahead and buy one!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Schumann's complete solo piano works, 26 Jan 2009
By 
Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
A nice compact 13CD box set offering most of Schumann's solo piano works, but sadly no recording dates or any other information which would have added a little more value to this collection.

This is a repackage of the set of 13 separately available CDs originally released in 2001, recorded probably in the 1970's, by the highly accomplished Austrian pianist Jorg Demus.

Played with subtlety and great sympathy with the Romantic style this set, despite its shortcomings with respect to information (a 13CD set surely deserves some form of booklet) offers by far the best opportunity to enjoy the solo piano works of Robert Schumann.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Feast of the Greatest Romantic Composer for the Piano, 5 Nov 2013
This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
Works: Davidsbundlertanze Opus 6. Phantasiestucke Opus 111. Gesange der Fruhe Opus 133. In Ansange ruhiges im Verlauf bewegtes Tempo. Klavierstucke Opus 32. Carnaval Opus 9. Marsche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins. Albumblatter Opus 124. Sonata for Piano in F sharp minor Opus 11. Impromptus Opus 5. Sechs Intermezzi Opus 4. Kinderszenen Opus 15. Drei Romanzen Opus 28. Sieben Klavierstucke in Fughettenform Opus 126. Etuden nach Paganini Opus 10. Fantasie Opus 17. Fantasiestucke Opus 12. Etuden nach Paganini Opus 3. Symphonische Etuden Opus 13. Funf Variationen Opus posth. Nachtstucke Opus 23. Skizzen fur den Pedalflugel Opus 58. Blumenstuck Opus 19. Kreisleriana Opus 16. 3 Sonatas for the Young Opus 118 : Number 1in G / Number 2 in D / Number 3 in C. Album fur die Jugend Opus 68 : Part I Fur Kleinere / Part II Fur Erwachsenere. Waldszenen Opus 82. Sonata for Piano Number 3 in F minor Opus 14. Humoreske Opus 20. Faschingsschwank aus Wien Opus 26. Toccata Opus 7. Supplement zu Opus 68. Novelletten Opus 21. Etuden fur den Pedalflugel Opus 56. Bunte Blatter Opus 99. Vier Fugen Opus 72. Vier Marsche Opus 76. Variations sur le nom `Abegg` Opus 1. Papillons Opus 2. Sonata for Piano Number 2 in G minor Opus 22. Presto in G minor Opus posth. Impromptus on a theme of Clara Wieck Opus 5.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction, 9 Feb 2011
This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
This very reasonably priced set a great introduction to Schumann's piano music. Demus is a good pianist and can be relied on to give unexaggerated and musical performances. Perhaps he doesn't rise to the heights of the great Schumann interpreters such as Richter and Lupu but these are admirable performances, in what appear to be good 1970s sound. At the price you cannot go wrong!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise!, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
Having read some of the reviews regarding this box set, my expectations were not especially high. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of Schumann's piano music. Schumann is a composer whose music I have not listened to much before, and I have really enjoyed his piano music. The recording quality is adequate, and I would agree with some of the other reviewers that the piano sounds like a Bosendorfer, and is not a forte-piano. The tuning is rather wacky! For a 1970's recording, I would have expected uniformly dull equal-temperament, but the tuning used can certainly be described as interesting, although it is not a well-temperament in the traditional sense. The piano certainly does not sound out of tune, and in no way detracts from some of the best romantic era piano music that I have heard. Definitely on a par with Mendelssohn, Cramer, Hummel and Chopin. I would not hesitate to recommend this budget priced box set. Excellent value for money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive survey of Schumann's solo piano works, 4 Nov 2013
By 
M. E. Tillier - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
Good quality performances from Jorg Demus - the piano sound won't suit everyone and is showing its age a little , however for a complete set of the piano works this is an absolute bargain ! It also contains a number of excellent minor works among the lesser known pieces , such as the Paganini caprices and the four fugues etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine bargin., 30 July 2013
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This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
This a comprehensive set of 13 CD's containing almost 15 hours of Schumann's Piano works. It is however 'bare-bones' in nature: supplied without any accompanying notes, or recording details, other than "recorded between 1972 & 1976".
I am not a qualified musician, so I will not comment on the merits or otherwise of Jorg Demus's interpretation/performance. Sufficient to say that to my musically untrained ears, a high standard of playing is evident throughout the set. Some pieces are evidently played with greater prowess than others (perhaps favourites of the musician), but there are certainly no outright 'lemons'.
Technically there is a wide variation in sound quality throughout the set: from rather poor to really very good. The poorest pieces have noticeable (but not obtrusive) levels of Master tape noise, or even clearly audible Intermodulation distortion with a few tracks on disc-2. Some of the tracks were originally recorded in mono: but being a single instrument performance, this does not significantly detract from the enjoyment of those pieces. The majority of the recordings sound good (through quality equipment), and whilst the others are less so, there no real "nasty's". The all-analogue 1970's Master tapes do give a thicker, fuller sound than with some later digital masters.
It may be wondered why a 5 star rating was awarded? The answer is: sheer value for money! At well under a pound/disc, this set represents an ideal purchase for someone who is exploring Robert Schumann's piano works for the first time; or for the collector who wishes to add those more obscure pieces to their 'mainstream-Schumann' collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good value for money, 28 Jun 2013
By 
Curlytop (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Schumann: Complete Piano Works (Audio CD)
The only gripe I have is that some of the track divisions on the CD are wrong, generally too early. When playing a CD through it doesn't matter, but when listening to MP3's you get a definite break before the last notes of a track which are joined to the next track. Particularly noticeable in "Carnaval" on disc 2.
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Schumann: Complete Piano Works
Schumann: Complete Piano Works by Jorg Demus (Audio CD - 2011)
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