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4.3 out of 5 stars17
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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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 August 2011
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 Bosendorfer here, albeit what sounds like a reasonably old one.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 26 January 2009
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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on 23 November 2009
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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on 9 February 2011
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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on 27 December 2013
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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Low price but the sound is not very good. Ok, you have all the piano works of Schumann and this is important for a music lover: I would buy it again
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on 4 February 2015
Brilliant value. Clean and a consistency in delivery, accurate to my ears at least, this makes a most excellent library starter for a Schumann.

The only gripe is with the cardboard sleeves ... the tightest fit ever. I recommend taking a craft knife to the seam and then re glueing.

Incidentally, my disc 8 had a dollop of glue or some other part of the packing in sleeve process on the cd rendering it unplayable. I don't think this is typical but suggest checking every cd on reception. I made the mistake of waiting, with some relish, to compare with Richter amongst others and could not make a claim for return.
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on 4 November 2013
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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on 28 June 2013
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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