Schumann, Davidsbündlertänze, Symphonic Etudes, A. Schiff
Schumann, Noveletten, Sonata No. 3, A. Schiff (MP3 download)
Davidsbündlertänze | Kinderszenen
He opened with the lesser-played Waldszene, little forest vignettes that have a menacing, fairy-tale air to them. Here and throughout the evening, some of the most technically challenging passages sounded a little reserved or logy, but Schiff proved himself an extraordinary storyteller, a master at limning a broad range of character piece. A serene entrance song (Eintritt) led to the fragile, lonely flowers of Einsame Blumen, the enigmatic, unsettling terrors of Verrufene Stelle, and the exotic avian prophecy of Vogel als Prophet, that last one rendered with the rhythmic freedom, almost unmetered, of birdsong. Schiff's Davidsbündlertänze, which concluded the first half, was not as delicately colored as that of Mitsuko Uchida earlier this year, but it was a dynamic and vivid performance. Schiff's highly delineated voicing brought out numerous inner lines, often lost in the jumble like the countermelodies of no. 12, and giving a meandering and moonstruck quality to no. 4, a clipped gallop to no. 6, and an adventurous boldness to no. 15.
Anne Midgette, András Schiff lifts Schumann to the sublime (Washington Post, October 22)
Mark Swed, András Schiff plays Schumann in Disney Hall (Los Angeles Times, October 14)
The next piano recital presented by WPAS at Strathmore should be excellent, too, featuring Emanuel Ax (November 10, 8 pm).