Review by Celebidache2000 February 12, 2012 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|A man of many hats (poet, philosopher, inventor, teacher, music critic, song composer, piano virtuoso, piano composer, conductor, orchestral composer…) Robert Schumann, in his role as music critic, writing in his music journal, the “Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik”, in an article published in May 1831, famously introduced composer Frederic Chopin to his readers by exclaiming, “Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!”
I have a feeling that Schumann (were he writing today) might say the same thing about Slavka Pechocova and her recording of his piano cycle, the “Carnaval” and several pieces by Frederic Chopin.
I recently came across this recording and I must say that I am deeply impressed.
The disc liner notes mention that Ivan Moravec was one of Ms. Pechocova's teachers and I would say she has learned well (from the master) because I have never heard a recording of Schumann's Carnaval that I enjoyed more.
Schumann is notoriously difficult music for most performing artists (who just don't seem to understand the music that they are playing…just because you can play the notes, does not mean that you should…).
Too many performances come across as hackneyed and heavy handed, lacking the sense of wit and charm that characterize Schumann's writing.
There's no lack of wit and charm in Slavka Pechocova’s performance.
She sounds delightful in the "Carnaval." It's the kind of performance that brings a smile to the face as well as tears of joy.
Schumann titled one piece in the Carnaval, "Chopin." It's a witty and whimsical homage to the genius (and it takes one to know one).
I love the way that Pechocova's performance of the Carnaval "speaks to" the Chopin pieces that follow.
Superb playing all-round and some of the best sonics that Praga have achieved. This recording is a fantastic achievement and a joy to listen to.
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