Martin Stadtfeld / Hallé Otchestra / Sir Mark Elder SCHUMANN Kinerszenen - Klavierkonzert

“Stadtfeld brings his trenchant and clearly structured approach to both the Baroque and the Romantic works. His music-making is playfully light in touch, without lapsing into frivolity, while the range of expression extends from dance-like elegance to arioso intimacy, but always with the necessary drive and, where need be, with a forward-thrusting impetus.” (Frankfurter Neue Presse)

Students of the piano occasionally struggle through Bach’s preludes in strict sequence, their only solution being to discover some personal element in them by romantically transfiguring them. But it is clear from Martin Stadtfeld that the freedom and vitality of this music are to be found precisely in the strict observance of lucid form. With his responsiveness to detail, the pianist uses structure as a means of providing the listener with a sense of orientation. Ornaments and changes of rhythm seem all the more surprising and full of life. In his unorthodox way Stadtfeld unobtrusively yet unmistakably throws open the score so that every listener can follow it and sees what lies inside it. Bach’s architectural form and delight in mathematical proportions become a fascinating background, and the individual details stand out like a diagram that one contemplates, its precise details becoming increasingly fascinating, the longer one looks. What a difference in character when we turn to Schumann! We hear what Romanticism in music really means, mellifluous without being saccharine. We stop, almost afraid to breathe, so delicate is the touch. Whether fast or resolute, whether serenade or scherzo, Schumann’s Bunte Blätter are turned into character studies, into brief yet delightful sketches. (Rondo, February 2006)

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