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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Schumann & Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos

Schumann & Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos


Mendelssohn:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25

Ingrid Fliter (piano)

The Fair Melusine Overture, Op. 32

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Ingrid Fliter (piano)


Ingrid Fliter is set to thrill her fans with a new recording of piano concertos; eagerly awaited since her acclaimed recording of Chopin 1 & 2, which saw Fliter nominated for a Gramophone Award.

Fliter performs repertoire that is very close to her heart: concertos by two nineteenth century heavyweights, Schumann and Mendelssohn.

Fliter brings the lyrical romanticism of Schumann’s iconic Piano Concerto to life whilst perfectly navigating the shifting colours and technical demands of this brilliant showpiece.

The sparkling passagework and charming melodies which characterise Mendelssohn’s innovative G minor concerto demonstrate Fliter’s innate skill and pianistic instinct.

Following Fliter’s live performance of the Mendelssohn concerto one critic wrote: ‘In the beautiful second movement, time stood still.’

With both composers giving equal focus to soloist and orchestra, the musicality of the SCO’s award-winning musicians shines through as they partner Fliter perfectly.

This also marks the recording debut of Antonio Méndez, who is fast becoming one of the most exciting conductors of his generation following engagements with a host of international orchestras.

“there's still room for something fresh to be said with this evergreen music … in both the Mendelssohn and Schumann, Fliter plays with tautness and energy, fitting hand-in-glove with the smaller chamber-orchestra forces of the SCO and drier recorded sound. Heartfelt and intelligent, this is life-enhancing music, and as a bonus there's The Fair Melusina Overture.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2016

“The Mendelssohn concerto suits Fliter particularly well, and she’s alive to the impetuosity of the outer movements, as well as to the work’s more poetic elements…[her] command of the drama is second to none…[in the Schumann] the sense of an intimacy of chamber music-making is everywhere apparent…recommendable particularly for the Mendelssohn, and wonderfully warmly recorded” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“What really works for me is the Mendelssohn G minor concerto with Fliter exchanging the prettiness of some performances for a more dynamic interpretation, and glittering fingerwork that attracts some equally sparkling Reponses from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Antonio Mendez… wonderfully lithe, muscular performances.” CD Review, 7th May 2016

“a beautiful fit with the expressive world of pianist Ingrid Fliter. Several factors combine to make this an unusually satisfying Romantic piano concerto offering, but among them is the high-contrast approach of Fliter herself, really capturing the listener's attention… a standout recording.” All Music Guide, 24th April 2016

“Fliter is also in her element. Hers is a reading of firm, exhilarating impulse, at the same time taking its cue from the lyrical heart of the music and glowing with the limpid touch, golden timbre and subtle nuances that are hallmarks of her playing…. [on Mendelssohn] Fliter has the measure of the work.” Daily Telegraph, 7th May 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Schumann: Complete Symphonic Works Vol. IV

Schumann: Complete Symphonic Works Vol. IV


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Denes Varjon (piano)

Violin Concerto

Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin)


WDR Sinfonieorchester, Heinz Holliger

This fourth volume of the complete orchestral works by Robert Schumann presents both his most underestimated and his most famous concertos. Patricia Kopatchinskaja takes the experimental qualities of the Violin Concerto, a late work, as a guiding principle, rising above clichéd Romanticist tradition in a typically distinctive, energetic interpretation. This 'de-Romanticised' reading clearly distinguishes Schumann’s Violin Concerto from the glittering Romantic concertos of the time, contrasting brilliant, attention-seeking virtuosity with musical mastery at the service of an overall concept. In the Piano Concerto, Dénes Várjon also expresses a particular Romantic clarity, characterised by fresh sounds and fluid tempi. He trusts in the impact of the work standing on its own by opting for an approach that is not overly Romanticist. His stringent interpretation is informed by many years of performing Schumann, including his chamber works.

Denes Varjon has a track record with Schumann recordings: his CD of the Sonatas of Robert Schumann recorded with Carolin Widmann was released in 2008. His recording of Schumann pieces with the cellist Steven Isserlis was released in 2009 on the Hyperion label. His solo CD with pieces of Berg, Janácek and Liszt was released in January 2012 by ECM, with whom he has also recorded works by Heinz Holliger, who requested Varjon for this Audite project.

“Kopatchinskaja’s sound is uncompromising here; stark and straight, her strength matched by the ensemble, no-one’s trying make this into a prettier concerto than it seems, and to my ears, it gains from that approach … you come out of this recording with renewed respect for Schumann’s originality and for Holliger’s determination not to add too much sugar in his Schumann series for Audite” CD Review, 27/02/2016

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Audite Schumann Complete Symphonic Works - AUDITE97717

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Lucerne Festival Historic Performances Vol. VIII

Lucerne Festival Historic Performances Vol. VIII

Piano Concertos by Schumann and Beethoven


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19

Lucerne, Kunsthaus, 29/8/1962

Leon Fleisher (piano)

Swiss Festival Orchestra, George Szell

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Lucerne, Kunsthaus, 3/9/1960

Annie Fischer (piano)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Carlo Maria Giulini


The eighth disc in the series Lucerne Festival Historic Performances is dedicated to two piano icons: in 1960 and 1962, with two years between them, Hungarian-born Annie Fischer and the American Leon Fleisher made their debuts at Lucerne Festival. Released here for the first time in their entirety, these live recordings document them at the peak of their art.

Sviatoslav Richter called her a “brilliant musician”, accrediting her with “great breath and true depth”. András Schiff acknowledged: “I have never heard more poetic playing in my life.” Annie Fischer, born in Budapest in 1914, gave public performances even as a child, winning the International Liszt Competition in 1930 and after that, except during the war, touring worldwide. Nonetheless, she tends to be rated as an insider’s tip, not least because she left behind only a handful of studio recordings. That makes live recordings such as this, released for the first time, all the more precious: at her only performance in Lucerne in summer 1960, Annie Fischer realised a sensitive, chamber-like and exceptionally poetic reading of the Schumann Piano Concerto with which she “garnered unusually fervent success”, according to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. She found congenial musical partners in Carlo Maria Giulini and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Leon Fleisher made his Lucerne debut in 1962 at the age of 34: on the peak of his rapid career which had – as had been the case with Annie Fischer – catapulted him into musical life while he was still a child. However, only a few months after his Lucerne performance – released for the first time in its entirety – he developed focal dystonia, making the use of his right hand impossible. During the following decades, Fleisher became a specialist of the left-handed repertoire until, in his old age, he was once again able to play with both hands, thanks to new medical treatments. In Lucerne, he presented himself with one of his party pieces – Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto, which he played with an elegant and transparent tone. The Swiss Festival Orchestra was conducted by George Szell, with whom he had made a studio recording of the concerto one year previously – an interesting comparison. The second half of this concert, Brahms’ First Symphony, is already available in this series of Lucerne Festival Historic Performances and has been awarded the Diapason d’Or as well as a nomination for the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA).

The 32-page booklet in three languages provides extensive background information on Annie Fischer and Leon Fleisher, and also features photos from the festival archives of all artists involved, published here for the very first time.

“Forceful, cleanly articulated and with a poetically charged Intermezzo, it’s a performance that shows Fischer to have been a notably strong, intellectual player.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2016

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Schumann: Kinderszenen & Piano Concerto

Schumann: Kinderszenen & Piano Concerto


Schumann:

Kinderszenen, Op. 15

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Hallé Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder


Martin Stadtfeld (piano)

Sony - 88875057912

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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

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Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2015

LSO Live - LSO0765

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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

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Grieg & Schumann: Piano Concertos

Grieg & Schumann: Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Warner Classics National Gallery Collection - 7051192

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$7.00

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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

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Grieg & Schumann: Piano Concertos

Grieg & Schumann: Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Warner Classics Cologne Collection - 4645742

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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.

“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 ***

“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

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