A masterly one-off Schumann disc

The South Jutland Symphony Orchestra lead by Vladimir Ziva give us a rare opportunity to hear all of Schumann’s works for piano and orchestra on one disc

Composer: Schumann
Repertoire: Works for Piano and Orchestra
Artists: South Jutland Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ziva
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Danacord DACOCD 688

The Music A rare opportunity to hear all of Robert Schumann’s works for piano and orchestra on a single disc: the famous Piano Concerto coupled with shorter works and a real rarity – the concerto movement composed in 1847 by Robert’s wife Clara (not to be confused with her piano concerto). 

The Performance Marshev and Ziva set off at a cracking pace in the concerto and bring a welcome lightness of touch to the work as a whole, a fine account by any standards. No less compelling is the Introduction and Allegro appassionato (1849, one movement, 15’48), all too rarely heard in the concert hall. While Schuman’s later Introduction and Allegro Concertante (1853) is the weaker work of the two and Clara’s Chopinesque single movement is unlikely to gain a foothold in the repertoire, these persuasive performances elevate them beyond their merely musicological interest. 

The Verdict Four stars for the imaginative and useful programme, for Marshev’s masterly playing, the sturdy, characterful support from Ziva – and to Danacord for not coupling the Schumann concerto with the Grieg! 

Want more? Sample another piano concerto in A minor: Clara Schumann’s is well-played on Tudor (Tudor 788).