- Symphonic Etudes ("Etudes in the form of variations") for piano (2 versions), Op. 13
- Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) for piano, Op. 15
- Kreisleriana, 8 fantasies for piano, Op. 16
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It is exceedingly frustrating when an exceptional recording of solo piano music is found that is so strong on most every level -- except one. Such is the case with this recording of Schumann's "Etudes Symphoniques," "Kinderszenen," and "Kreisleriana" by English pianist Peter Bradley-Fulgoni. From an interpretive standpoint, this is among one of the best recordings of these works. Bradley-Fulgoni's is quite stunning; even in thick, heavy moments of the etudes, the intricacies of the inner voices can still be heard quite clearly. Fast movements, such as "Etude IX (Presto possibile)" are magnificently energetic without ever seeming rushed. The slow fourth movement of "Kreisleriana," in contrast, is extremely sensitive, beautiful in its simplicity, and thoughtful in its timing. The one downside to this recording is that the left hand of the piano is recorded at such a low level as to be virtually absent. Despite numerous adjustments and tweaking of levels on playback equipment, a satisfying bass register could not be brought out. The result, sadly, is a recording that unduly favors the treble end of the sound spectrum.