Schumann Drei Fantasiestucke, Op. 73
In this article we will be looking at, and recommending, a critically acclaimed recording of the cello version of the Schumann Drei Fantasiestucke, Op. 73, as well as including a selected video clip of a live performance. Although these three “Fantasy Pieces” were written originally for Clarinet and Piano, Schumann himself stated that the instrumental part could also be played on the cello or viola.
Why watching and listening to performances of music is not just enjoyable, but also helpful
It is always best to listen to as wide a variety of interpretations of a piece you are preparing for exam or performance, as possible, as this encourages you to ask yourself questions about what you want do with your own musical interpretation. Here at exam accomaniment we stive to offer you a blank canvas with which you can thoroughly prepare your piece, so when you go on to play live with a piano accompanist, you will be as technically prepared as you can be, and able to take your musical ideas even further.
This video features the great Martha Argerich accompanying the fine French cellist Gautier Capuçon, live at the Verbier festival in 2011. Argerich is both a great concert pianist and accompanist in her own right, and this nuanced performance highlights the excellent reciprocal relationship between instrumentalist and piano accompanist.
This recording of the Schumann Drei Fantasiestucke, op 73 features the great British cellist Steven Isserlis, and acclaimed Hungarian piano accompanist, Dénes Várjon. We chose this recording as it is a favourite amongst the team here at exam accompaniment, and is also an editor’s choice from Gramophone Magazine in May, 2009, having been released to much praise and critical acclaim. International Record Review, July/August 2011, is quoted here as having written: “For any collector wishing to explore Schumann’s music for cello and piano, Isserlis and Várjon are the obvious partnership of choice, and it is hard to imagine such superlative performances being easily matched, even less displaced.”
Grammophone also write: ‘Could this be his best recording yet? … [Fantasiestucke] has a wonderfully considered and luxuriant aspect; the results never sound contrived. That’s partly to do with Isserlis’s sound, which has a very focused centre to it, but also his utterly intimate relationship with pianist Dénes Várjon.
This is a must-own recording for anyone playing these wonderful gems by Schumann.