“Here's a disc of fine Schumann playing, superbly recorded and on a beautifully voiced piano. To undertake a critical nit-pick of each of the 27 short pieces that make up these three works would seem invidious and, besides, not reflect the spirit in which the music is offered. In the Fantasiestücke some might feel that Cassard uses too much pedal here, or takes such-and-such too fast or too slow there; others might justifiably counter by saying that Richter in his famous 1956 selection uses too little pedal, and strives for effect, compared with Cassard's more relaxed approach in infinitely better sound. Kinderszenen, likewise, is distinguished by its simplicity, its tenderness and unexaggerated rubato, nowhere more apparent than in the final 'Der Dichter spricht'. Perhaps Argerich finds more impish delight in the extrovert titles, but that again must be a matter of personal preference. Humoreske – 42 pages almost all in B flat major or G minor – is one of Schumann's works that might have been more satisfactory had he let it mature in the cellar for a while before drinking. It's difficult to overcome the problems presented by a continuous flow of fragments of such varying musical interest. Cassard almost succeeds if only because his mellifluous tone and subtle phrasing are such a pleasure to hear. Both Ashkenazy (1972) and Horowitz (1979) in their very different ways find more character in the details, the latter's pacing of Schumann's meandering 'Conclusion' more convincing than Cassard. But that's quite the wrong note on which to conclude a review of a recital that merits the highest praise.”
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