Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 - download (MP3 & FLAC)

This page lists all recordings of Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, by Robert Schumann (1810-56) on download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first.

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February 2006
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June 2010
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December 2006
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Schumann: Piano Concerto & Piano Trio No. 2

Schumann: Piano Concerto & Piano Trio No. 2


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

DVD

Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado

Piano Trio No. 2 in F major, Op. 80

with Isabelle Faust (violin) & Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)


Alexander Melnikov (fortepiano)

Schumann: Violin Concerto (with Isabelle Faust) and Piano Trio No. 3 available here.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

This second volume of the complete recording of the concertos and trios of Schumann shows just how badly we needed an interpretation that respects the subtleties and the transparency of Schumann’s writing. Here is a different stylistic approach to one of the finest concertos in the repertoire, which will undoubtedly open the way to the rediscovery of music as poetic as it is moving. The final installment will be of the Cello Concerto and Piano Trio No. 1 with Jean-Guihen Queyras.

"The idea for this CD project arose during a tour on which we performed Robert Schumann’s Trio Op.80. As passionate admirers of the composer, we conceived the desire to place his works for piano, violin and cello in a broader context and to illuminate them mutually in order to allow listeners to gain a deeper understanding of his music. We soon agreed to play the pieces for this recording on a historical piano and stringed instruments with gut strings, using orchestral forces to match. Thanks to this, we expected our playing to be better balanced, better articulated, and more open-minded. Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester sprang spontaneously to mind as the ideal partners for a project of this kind. And indeed they took up our idea enthusiastically and were keen and irreplaceable fellow-conspirators in the world of Schumann. Our shared journey into the magical world of this incomparable composer will remain with us as an exceptionally intense, happy and fulfilling experience." Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Jean-Guihen Queyras

DVD: The Piano Concerto filmed at Berliner Philharmonie

“Melnikov is a steely player with plenty of ideas and charisma, but even in the finessed company of the Freiburg Baroque and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, his bracing account of the Piano Concerto is hard to love... All affectations evaporate in the Trio, though, where Faust’s sound is so silvery and expressive, so simultaneously commanding and questioning, that she risks blowing the rest of the disc out of the water.” The Guardian, 30th July 2015 ***

“The 1837 Erard that Melnikov uses, plus the period-instrument Freiburg band, brings a new and revealing clarity to Schumann’s concerto, underlining the fantasy element in the marvellous opening movement...The performance of the rarely heard F major trio is first-rate.” Sunday Times, 9th August 2015

“Melnikov’s decision to use the fortepiano allows him to take the work out of Grieg’s shadow, letting it emerge as Schumann originally conceived it. That’s not to say that his performance lacks power – far from it...but it’s power wielded within historically-accurate boundaries, and it doesn’t upset the balance that is key to Schumann’s newly-reinvented vision of the concerto.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 7th August 2015

“Melnikov’s performance of possibly the best-loved of the concertos takes one by the scruff of the neck and gives a good shake – there is nothing nostalgic about his reading...The sound worlds are so different, and yet the calibre of performance is maintained. It is impossible [for me] to fault a splendid achievement.” Early Music Review, 3rd August 2015

“it’s only a matter of seconds after the initial shock of Alexander Melnikov’s unsentimentally triumphant opening piano flourish...before the buoyant energy and translucence of his interpretation, and the equally vivid presence of the Freiburger Barockorchester under Pablo Heras-Casado, make their gripping mark on music you thought you knew well. It is tasteful, exuberant and revelatory.” The Scotsman, 9th August 2015

“Melnikov is able to ripple along as part of an ensemble when providing accompaniment to orchestral lines, rather than dominating as a Steinway might, although the instrument can still roar when called upon to do so…repeated listening has persuaded me that this is a valid alternative to the glittering virtuosity displayed by pianists from Lipatti to Andsnes and beyond.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

7th August 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Harmonia Mundi - HMC902198

(CD + DVD Video - 2 discs)

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Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts Mendelssohn & Schumann

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts Mendelssohn & Schumann


Mendelssohn:

Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 'Scottish'

Hebrides Overture, Op. 26

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Maria João Pires (piano)


LSO Live presents the first in a series exploring the complete symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Also featured on this release is the eminent Portuguese pianist, Maria João Pires, in the inaugural concerto recording on the label.

Inspired by his travels to the British Isles and full of the influence of the rolling Scottish landscape, both Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’ and his Hebrides Overture (‘Fingal’s Cave’) are amongst the composer’s most popular and celebrated works.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner writes of this coupling: "Even if they spoke with different accents these genial Romantics were united in their ambitious fervour for ‘abstract’ music to be acknowledged as having the same expressive force as poetry, drama or the literary novel. The three works on this album exemplify the endeavour and range of invention of two of them, friends and colleagues in Leipzig."

This recording will be released in both SACD and pure audio Blu-ray formats, allowing both the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Eliot’s performance to be seen and heard to full effect.

DSD recording, live at the Barbican, 21st January 2014

Video/ audio 2.0 Stereo and multi-channel (5.0)

Audio + bonus video material/digital (Blu-ray video of the entire concert plus Pires's encore).

Concert Reviews:

"This was the London Symphony Orchestra; but, with violins and violas standing and with a new suppleness and brilliance in their voice, they sounded Romantic and revolutionary. There was a brisk stepping-out, a bracing scent of the tangle o’ the isles, and tiny, drawn-back moments to glimpse the Romantic sublime." The Times****

"The opening of the Intermezzo was supremely graceful with Pires and the LSO’s cellos creating a chamber music intimacy in the ensuing dialogue. The cultivated way in which Pires and the LSO took up and finished phrases was masterful. The finale was a whirling dance with Pires really revving up the momentum while at the same time bringing out the fanciful elements in the score. The coda was played with gusto, bringing the piece to a sparkling conclusion." Seen and Heard

“As you would expect from the LSO brass section, the trumpets soar and blaze when appropriate, but it’s really the woodwind who excel [in The Hebrides]...Pires seems to focus on lyricism over drama, and that’s no bad thing [in the concerto]...It’s in [the Scottish] symphony that Gardiner’s credentials as a proponent of so-called historically-informed performance are most evident” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 20th October 2014

“a reading formed by life experience…Pires is supported by conductor and orchestra magnificently...I’ve never heard so much of the orchestral colour and detail in any other Schumann recording … My anticipation that this might be a special recording has been met.” MusicWeb International, 30th October 2014

“one of the finest performances of Schumann's Piano Concerto that I have ever heard...[Pires's] performance is as pristine and common-sensical as it is soulful and beguilingly expressive. The whole thing is absolutely wonderful, and an education.” Herald Scotland, 9th November 2014

“Gardiner's Hebrides Overture must be one of the most thrilling ever recorded, adding volleys of sea-spray to well-navigated execution...Ebb and flow is of the essence in this proto-Wagnerian masterpiece and a subtle use of vibrato...Gardiner makes a beeline for individual instrumental details, keeping important woodwind lines to the fore.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2015

“this ‘Scottish’ symphony is fresh, vital and even thrilling (a word that doesn’t always come up in discussions of Mendelssohn) as any I’ve ever heard…at its best it is so good that it can be recommended without hesitation.” International Record Review, January 2015

“[Pires] has the enviable ability to make everything sound fresh but natural, and her tone is enchanting...The definition on [the Blu-ray] is superb and the camera work actually helps the viewer understand the music.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2015 ***/*****

Presto Disc of the Week

20th October 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2015

LSO Live - LSO0765

(SACD + Blu-ray Audio - 2 discs)

$18.25

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Byron Janis plays Liszt, Rachmaninov & Schumann

Byron Janis plays Liszt, Rachmaninov & Schumann


Liszt:

Totentanz, S126 for piano & orchestra

Rachmaninov:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Byron Janis began his extraordinary career as Horowitz’s star pupil.

Sony Originals - 88765456712

(CD)

$10.00

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Romantic Piano Concertos

Romantic Piano Concertos


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

RCA Symphony Orchestra, Kyrill Kondrashin


Van Cliburn (piano)

Van Cliburn's extraordinary rise to fame in the late fifties was in no small part due to his performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto featured on this disc. This Regis release is a valuable document of the birth of a pianistic legend. The Schumann coupling shows a more introspective side to his musicianship.

Regis - RRC1391

(CD)

$7.25

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Schumann & Mozart: Sophie Pacini

Schumann & Mozart: Sophie Pacini


Mozart:

Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K271 "Jeunehomme"

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Sophie Pacini (piano)

Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Radoslaw Szulc

In 2011 Pacini won the Prix Marguerite Dütschler of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad. Born in Munich in 1991, her father an Italian professor of literature and her mother a German physician, Sophie Pacini began to play the piano comparatively late, at the age of six. However, her outstanding talent was recognised quickly: she made her debut with Haydn’s D major Piano Concerto in 2000. In 2002, aged 11, she became a student of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2004 she was admitted to the Mozarteum’s institute for highly talented musicians, where she studied not only the piano but also improvisation, aural theory, harmonics, composition and conducting. Since 2007 she has been studying in Pavel Gililov’s master class.

In 2010 Pacini auditioned for Martha Argerich and, after the Liszt Sonata, Argerich approached her, kissed her on the cheek and said: ‘You are very good. Do you know that?’ Since then their friendship has grown. Argerich recommended Sophie to Fou T’song and invited her to take part in the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano. They arrange to meet whenever possible. Martha Argerich and Sophie Pacini worked together on the preparation for this, her debut recording of an Argerich favourite – the Schumann concerto, and also on Mozart’s first great piano concerto, known as ‘Jeunehomme’. Named after a French keyboard player who was in Salzburg over the winter of 1776–7, nothing is known of her today, except that the 21-year-old Mozart wrote this remarkable concerto for her.

“Pacini (b1991) is a protegee of Martha Argerich and it shows...There's a similar air of in-the-moment rhapsodising and no fear of giving the performance a boot up the backside if she catches her accompanists napping...Pacini clearly has something to say in this music and the technique to do so. What is lacking, perhaps, is ability to take the long view and tie up all the works' episodes into a unified whole.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“This debut reveals a sympathetic tone and an independent spirit which particularly suit the Schumann. Tempos are well-judged, with room for Pacini to explore the work's lyrical meditations. Certain issues between pianist and orchestra could have worked better...But Pacini is promising indeed, and one to watch for the future.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 ***

Onyx - ONYX4088

(CD)

$15.50

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Schumann & Grieg: Piano Concertos

Schumann & Grieg: Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Sony Classical Masters - 88697721002

(CD)

$7.50

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Martin Helmchen plays Schumann & Dvorak

Martin Helmchen plays Schumann & Dvorak


Dvorak:

Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Martin Helmchen’s last two CDs have both been Music Choice of the Month in BBC Music Magazine. His recording of the “Trout” received excellent reviews all over the world: “The young Martin Helmchen is as gifted a new pianist as I expect to hear for years” BBC Music Magazine.

“Martin Helmchen is clearly a staunch advocate for Dvorák's neglected Concerto. There are many things to enjoy in this beautifully recorded interpretation, but the orchestra is not nearly as assured in the Dvorák as the Schumann… both Helmchen and Albrecht give a magnificently assured performance of the Schumann concerto.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2010 ****

“...a genuinely distinguished account of the Schumann concerto, beautifully coloured and phrased, and with a lightness of touch that's altogether admirable…” The Guardian, 4th December 2009 ***

“Martin Helmchen delivers a refreshing performance of Schumann and Dvorak's piano concertos...the tumbling motifs of Dvorak's first movement are impulsive, the cadenza and Andante are confidently characterised.” The Independent on Sunday, 29th November 2009

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Pentatone - PTC5186333

(SACD)

$16.75

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Schumann: Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra

Schumann: Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Introduction & Allegro appassionato in G major, Op. 92

Introduction and Allegro Op. 134


Sony - SK64577

(CD)

$10.50

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Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Schumann: Piano Concerto

Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Schumann: Piano Concerto


Chopin:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Presto CD

Decca - 4119422

(Presto CD)

$16.75

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Reflection

Reflection


Brahms:

Cello Sonata No. 1 In E minor, Op. 38

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Schumann, Clara:

Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen, Op. 12 No. 2 (Text: Friedrich Rückert)

Warum willst du and're fragen, Op. 12 No. 11 (Text: Friedrich Rückert)

Am Strande


“If you've heard this lovely work [the Concerto] once too often in a merely average performance, then drink deeply at Grimaud's spring, for you'll leave refreshed...not an overblown romantic gesture, and no cloying sentimentality; instead a strong, straightforward reading where every note seems just so, yet without feeling calculated.” Andrew McGregor, bbc.co.uk, 7th March 2006

“…even if her Schumann Concerto had come out on its own… I'd still strongly recommend it. From her first two forte chords it is clear this is going to be something special. Every single phrase, change of mood or colour, sounds as though it has been lovingly rediscovered.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2006 *****

“Hélène Grimaud presents us with a second lovingly themed gift, this time mirroring the entwined love of Robert and Clara Schumann and their adored protégé, Johannes Brahms. Grimaud's performance of Robert's Piano Concerto is a superbly bracing riposte to more indulgent and sentimental readings. Brilliantly partnered by Esa-Pekka Salonen, who conducts with all the joy of first discovery, she launches the work with fierce authority before playing the principal theme with a rare sense of its expressivo and affetuoso character. She is no less bold and impassioned partnering Anne Sofie von Otter, an ideal match for a singer whose intensity and vision leave you in no doubt that Clara was a more-than-gifted composer as well as a great pianist. ...joins Truls Mørk in the E minor Cello Sonata, where you get an almost palpable sense of the artists lifting each other to heights they might find hard to achieve alone. Few performances on record have a more robust eloquence and fervour.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2006

CD Review

Critics Disc of the Year - December 2006

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - February 2006

DG - 4775719

(CD)

$15.50

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