SCHUMANN: Carnaval for Piano, Op. 9 "Little Scenes on Four Notes"
Carnaval for Piano, Op. 9
"Little Scenes on Four Notes"
Performed by Rolf Plagge (Piano)
A live recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
Concert Grand Piano: C-227 by Steinway & Sons
DDD · Duration: 31 Min. 35 Sec.
Digital Music Album [here: MP3/320kBit/sec.] · 12 Tracks
arnaval, Op. 9, is a work by Robert Schumann for piano solo, written in 1834-1835, and subtitled "Scènes mignonnes sur quatre notes" (Little Scenes on Four Notes). It consists of 21 short pieces representing masked revelers at Carnival, a festival before Lent. Schumann gives musical expression to himself, his friends and colleagues, and characters from improvised Italian comedy (commedia dell'arte). He dedicated the work to the violinist Karol Lipinski. Carnaval had its origin in a set of variations on a "Sehnsuchtswalzer" by Franz Schubert, whose music Schumann had only discovered in 1827. The catalyst for writing the variations may have been a work for piano and orchestra by Schumann's close friend Ludwig Schuncke, a set of variations on the same Schubert theme. Schumann felt that Schuncke's heroic treatment was an inappropriate reflection of the tender nature of the Schubert piece, so he set out to approach his variations in a more intimate way, and worked on them in 1833 and 1834. The work was never completed, however, and Schuncke died in December 1834, but Schumann did re-use the opening 24 measures for the opening of Carnaval. Pianist Andreas Boyde has since reconstructed the original set of variations from Schumann's manuscript (published by Hofmeister Musikverlag), premiered this reconstruction in New York and recorded it for Athene Records...
n July 1990 Rolf Plagge became the first German pianist ever to win a prize in the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition. He had already been awarded numerous prizes in national and international competitions in Vienna, Bratislava, Montevideo, Bonn, and several times in Italy. In 1987 he won the 3rd prize in the esteemed 'Reine Elisabeth' Competition in Brussels and has since been a frequent performer in Belgium. Rolf Plagge is regularly performing in many European countries, including Russia, as well as in the US and Latin America, Japan, South Korea, South East Asia, Australia. Apart from giving solo performances with various German orchestras (State Symphony Orchestra of Thuringia, Bochum Symphonic Orchestra, Bremen Philharmonic, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Rheinische Philharmonie, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz etc.) as well as with international orchestras, including Baltic Philharmonic, Filharmonia Narodowa Warschau, Orchestre National de France; Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Salt Lake City Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta, Orchstre National de Belgique etc.
Plagge was born in 1959 in Westerstede, North Germany, where he received his first piano lessons at home. By 1969 he was studying at the Bremen Conservatory with Prof. Peter-Jürgen Hofer. After winning several prizes and scholarships he continued his studies with various famous teachers: in Freiburg with Vitaly Margulis, in Vienna with Paul Badura-Skoda, at the Juilliard School in New York with Gyorgy Sandor and finally in Hannover with Karlheinz Kämmerling. Since 1991 he is holding a teaching position as professor at the University of Music "Mozarteum" in Salzburg, also giving piano masterclasses in Europe and many other countries, including US, South America, Japan, Korea, Australia.
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