In Between: Schumann & Mendelssohn

In Between: Schumann & Mendelssohn

by Sophie PaciniSophie Pacini

CD

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Overview

The young German-Italian pianist Sophie Pacini, a protégée of Martha Argerich, follows her explosive Beethoven-Liszt release on Warner Bros. with the more intimate and in some ways more ambitious In Between. Here, even in the more virtuosic pieces by Robert and Clara Schumann, she tones down the power: sample the Robert Schumann "Toccata in C major, Op. 7," to see if you miss it. The program as a whole makes sense. The In Between title is a bit uncommunicative, but it denotes the album's main aim: Pacini tries not only to show that the best of Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel can hold their own with Robert's and Felix's music, which has been done several times, but that the four influenced each other and had their music shaped by being closely connected parts of the same world. This is especially effective with the "Songs Without Words" of Fanny, which go by several names here. The concept was introduced to Felix by Fanny, and the idea that she was the leader gets a persuasive argument here, even if the music of Clara remains harder to tell from that of Robert than that of Fanny from Felix. There are many little turns of phrase that seem to have been batted around, and Pacini does well to begin with Liszt's arrangement of the "Widmung (Liebeslied)" of Robert Schumann, dedicated to Clara; the program as a whole has the intended poetic effect. Highly recommended for those intrigued by the contributions of Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel.

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