The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical musical review: Critic Vivien Schweitzer and conductor Paavo Jarvi are right about how to interpret the music of Robert Schumann

August 7, 2010
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This year we are marking the 200th birthday of composer Robert Schumann (1810-1846, below in a photo from 1850), who is in many ways the arch-Romantic.

Schumann, a deeply troubled but deeply creative man, wrote much more music — and much more interesting music — than many people are familiar with.

And he is a much more complex and interesting composer than he is often given credit for.

One of the most insightful analyses I’ve seen lately came this week from New York Times critic Vivien Schweitzer (below) in her review of performances of Schumann this week in New York City.

She also quoted and complimented the insightful remarks by conductor Paavo Jarvi (below) about interpreting Schumann.

Certainly their remarks ring true to the Schumann piano works  I play.

In case you missed her review, here it is:

They both agree with Leon Fleisher whom I heard say in a masterclass that all expression involves distortion. And Schumann is very expressive.

What do you think makes Schumann special or unique?

What do you think of Schweitzer’s remarks?

The  Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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