Magazine article Gramophone

Schumann: Fantasiestucke, Op 12

Magazine article Gramophone

Schumann: Fantasiestucke, Op 12

Article excerpt

Schumann

Fantasiestucke, Op 12. Etudes symphoniques. Op 13. Blumenstuck, Op 19

Freddy Kempf pf

BIS [F][SACD] BIS2010 (70' * DDD/DSD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Imposing works for Kempf's second Schumann disc for BIS

Right from the opening notes of Freddy Kempf's new Schumann disc, you grasp what his approach will be, for his 'Des Abends' that launches Op 12 is striking in its dreaminess. While that might be hypnotic performed live, here it comes to sound ponderous, especially when you compare it with the much lither Argerich. As the Fantasiestucke unfold, it becomes apparent that Kempf is keen to play up the contrasts, so the following 'Aufschwung' is so impetuous as to sound choppy and breathless, while Schumann's exhortations arising from the texture of 'In der Nacht' sound pasted on rather than organic (Argerich is again magnificent here). That overemphasis of line is something that crops up repeatedly on this disc: 'Fabel' is one casualty but so are elements of the Etudes symphoniques. His interpretation certainly has moments of insight--very striking and effective is the way he chooses to play the last posthumous variation far faster than I've ever encountered it. …

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