Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 44
Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major
Perfomed by Christoph Soldan (Piano)
and the Stuttgart Chamber Soloists
A live recording from the Rossini Concert Hall
in Bad Kissingen (Germany)
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: 29:22
Digital Album [here: MP3, 320kB/sec.]
4 Tracks incl. Digital Booklet
he Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44, by Robert Schumann was composed in 1842 and received its first public performance the following year. Noted for its "extroverted, exuberant" character, Schumann's piano quintet is considered one of his finest compositions and a major work of nineteenth-century chamber music. Composed for piano and string quartet, the work revolutionized the instrumentation and musical character of the piano quintet and established it as a quintessentially Romantic genre.
Clara Schumann (née Wieck) in 1838. Robert Schumann dedicated the piano quintet to Clara, and she performed the piano part in the work's first public performance in 1843.
Schumann composed his piano quintet in just a few weeks in September and October 1842, in the course of his so-called "Chamber Music Year". Prior to 1842, Schumann had completed no chamber music at all with the exception of an early piano quartet (in 1829). However, during his year-long concentration on chamber music he composed three string quartets, Op. 41; followed by the piano quintet, Op. 44; a piano quartet, Op. 47; and the Phantasiestücke for piano trio, Op. 88.
Schumann began his career primarily as a composer for the keyboard, and after his detour into writing for string quartet, according to Joan Chisell, his "reunion with the piano" in composing a piano quintet gave "his creative imagination ... a new lease on life".
John Daverio has argued that Schumann's piano quintet was influenced by Franz Schubert's Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat major, a work Schumann admired. Both works are in the key of E-flat, feature a funeral march in the second movement, and conclude with finales that dramatically resurrect earlier thematic material.
Schumann dedicated the piano quintet to his wife, the great pianist Clara Schumann. She was due to perform the piano part for the first private performance of the quintet on 6 December 1842. However, she fell ill and Felix Mendelssohn stepped in, sight-reading the "fiendish" piano part. Mendelssohn's suggestions to Schumann after this performance led the composer to make revisions to the inner movements, including the addition of a second trio to the third movement.
Clara Schumann did play the piano part at the first public performance of the piano quintet on 8 January 1843, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Clara pronounced the work "splendid, full of vigor and freshness". She often performed the work throughout her life. On one occasion, however, Robert Schumann asked a male pianist to replace Clara in a performance of the quintet, remarking that "a man understands that better".
Schumann's piano quintet is scored for piano and string quartet (two violins, viola, and cello).
By pairing the piano with string quartet, Schumann "virtually invented" a new genre. Prior to Schumann, piano quintets were ordinarily composed for keyboard, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. (This is the instrumentation for Schubert's Trout Quintet, for example.)
Schumann's choice to deviate from this model and pair the piano with a standard string quartet lineup reflects the changing technical capabilities and cultural importance, respectively, of these instruments. By 1842, the string quartet had come to be regarded as the most significant and prestigious chamber music ensemble, while advances in the design of the piano had increased its power and dynamic range. Bringing the piano and string quartet together, Schumann's Piano Quintet takes full advantage of the expressive possibilities of these forces in combination, alternating conversational passages between the five instruments with concertante passages in which the combined forces of the strings are massed against the piano. At a time when chamber music was moving out of the salon and into public concert halls, Schumann reimagines the piano quintet as a musical genre "suspended between private and public spheres" alternating between "quasi-symphonic and more properly chamber-like elements".
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
he pianist Christoph Soldan studied under Professors Eliza Hansen and Christoph Eschenbach at the Hamburg Musikhochschule. His break-through to active international concert playing came in a tour with Leonard Bernstein in summer 1989. Of Christoph Soldan, the world-famous director said, "I am impressed by the soulful size of this young musician". Since then, Soldan has played in numerous tours with renowned orchestras across Europe and abroad. In particular, this can be seen in the CD recordings of all of Mozart's piano concertos, which were performed and recorded from 1996 until 2006. A tour of piano evenings took place in Mexico and other countries in Central America in October 1997. In August 1998 he debuted in Salzburg and in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic, and in May 1999 in the Leipzig Gewandhaus. In March 2000, there were three piano evenings in Japan. So far, there have been radio and television productions with the Hessische Rundfunk (Frankfurt), Deutschlandfunk, SWR, ORF and ZDF. The Bayerische Rundfunk broadcasted his piano evening in the Munich Residenz in October 1998 and his concert at the Bad Brückenau music Festival live in 1999. Radio Bremen braodcasted his recital in Bremen in august 2002. Starting in 1996, Soldan was Performing all 27 piano concertos by Mozart together with the slovakian chamber orchestra CAPPELLA ISTROPOLITANA, the chamber orchestra of PFORZHEIM and the SILESIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Katowice. This cycle of concerts ended in January 2006, performing the concertos for 2 and 3 pianos. Christoph Soldan developed a "pas de deux for piano and dance", together with his wife, the dancer and choreographer Stefanie Goes. The premiere took place in Stuttgart in May 2000.
In Spring 2001 he participated the Prague Spring Festival accompanied by the slovakian chamber-orchestra "Cappella Istropolitana". Two recitals in Hamburg and Berlin were followed by a live-recording of two Mozart piano concertos in the medieval monastery of Maulbronn in September 2002. In January 2004 the première of the new Dance project "something about humans and angels" took place in Stuttgart followed by a concert-tour to South Africa. Since 2007 Soldan is working also as a conductor concerning the performances of piano concertos by Bach and Mozart. In the next season Christoph Soldan will be guesting in Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland and Slovakia with various programmes such as recitals, literary concerts, childrens concerts, as soloist with 5 of Mozart's piano-concertos, Schumann's piano concerto, Mendelssohn's doubleconcerto, Chopin's e-minor concerto, Beethovens 4th piano concerto as well as in chamber Music programmes with Brahms' piano quintet op. 34 and Schubert's "trout" quintett. Since 1994 Christoph Soldan is artistic director of a several chambermusic festivals in Germany. In 2007 together with his wife Soldan founded a theatre in the north of Baden-Württemberg between Stuttgart and Heidelberg, the "Theater Dörzbach" (www.theaterdoerzbach.de), where all artistic programmes are taking place since then. The German press describes Christoph Soldan as an "artist personality, who works with the spiritual intensity and soulful dimension of a piece of music, rather than giving a purely technical virtuoso performance". This challenge to music and to himself is rarely seen today.
n 2014, the leader and manager of the Kammersinfonie Stuttgart and the Pianist Christoph Soldan took the initiative to create the Stuttgart Chamber Soloists, based on the groupleaders of the Kammersinfonie Stuttgart.
Daniel Rehfeldt ~ Violin & Leader
Yuki Mukai ~ Violin
Igor Michalski ~ Viola
Hugo Rannou ~ Cello
The idea of the new ensemble was, to aquire and perform classical chamber music as well as symphonic repertoire, as the celebrated Stringserenades (Tchaikovsky, Suk, Fuchs...) and various Concertos for Piano and Orchestra (Mozart and Beethoven). An extensive concert series in germany was followed by a big success. In 2015 Christoph Soldan and the Stuttgart Chamber Soloists presented their repertoire in Italy, Spain and France. During springtime 2017, the artists performed several concerts with different programms in Germany ("Mozart-Woche" at the Abbey Seeon, Krefeld, Esslingen, the "Theater Dörzbach", Schwandorf, Bööblingen und Sigmaringen). Since 2018 the ensemble is part of the regular concert series "Schlosskonzerte" of Kulturgipfel München. Performing in the "Nymphenburg" Munich, "Neues Schloss" Stuttgart, "Kasino" Wiesbaden, "Parktheater" Augsburg and "Allerheilig Hofkirche" Munich. The ensemble has been constituted a very high level performance and the illusion of the sound from a much bigger sized orchestra.
Daniel Rehfeldt was born in 1973 in a musicians family. He was brought to music in very early years, learning the violin, the piano and the trumpet. He won several prices as the 1. Preis "Jugend Musiziert", Tonkünstlerwettbewerb, "Parke&Davis-Förderpreis". He studied with very well known teachers like Prof. Kolja Lessing (Stuttgart), Prof. Robert-Alexander Bohnke (Freiburg) and Prof. Werner Stiefel (Reutlingen) and Klaus-Peter Hahn (Stuttgart). He continued his studies at the "Mozarteum" Salzburg (Prof. Paul Roczek and Prof. Jürgen Geise) and Baroque-Violin and ancient music at the Bruckner Conservatorie Linz (Prof. Michi Gaigg) and the Trossingen Musikhochschule (Prof. John Holloway). After his studies Daniel Rehfeldt performed as soloist and leader from Kammerensemble Cologne, and with various chamber-music-groups, such as Manchester Oboe Quartet, Jade Quartet, Soldan Trio and Adular Quartet Stuttgart. His concerts brought him all over Europe, Russia, Taiwan, Australia, Africa, China and Korea. From 2013 to 2016 Daniel Rehfeldt was leader of the Philharmonie Baden-Baden and shared the stage with international high class musicians. From 2011 Daniel Rehfeldt is leader and manager of the KammerSinfonie Stuttgart. Since 2016 additional director of the Music School in Eislingen.
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