When Sophie Pacini made her Warner Classics debut in 2016 with a programme of Beethoven and Liszt, Gramophone described the young German-Italian, a protégée of Martha Argerich, as “a prodigious pianist”. On her new album, called In Between, she performs works by four composers as she explores their personal and musical relationships: between Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn; between Schumann and his wife Clara, and between Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny. Their contemporary Franz Liszt also features on the album, as the transcriber for piano of one of Schumann’s most glorious songs, Widmung (Dedication), which was inspired by Clara.
Schumann and Mendelssohn are, of course, firmly established in the musical pantheon, but Clara Schumann (celebrated as a concert pianist) and Fanny Mendelssohn were notable composers too. For too long, their creativity and their compositions were underestimated, but in recent years their talents and influence have become more widely recognised.