The Naxos coupling
of Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto (with
Francesco Nicolosi) and Piano Trio was
a MusicWeb 'Recording of the
Now along comes this Tudor offering,
providing strong competition and there’s
an extra work thrown in.
Veronica Jochum - yes,
his daughter - is a more than
able pianist. She has the advantage
of a well-respected orchestra behind
her which brings drama and a brisk approach
to the opening. The recording has a
fine depth but someone was perhaps a
little too lavish with the reverb, I
would suggest. If Jochum's entry is
on the pedestrian side, one soon warms
to her more sensitive side - excellent
voicing throughout. She shines in the
Romanze, a truly interior statement
despite the faster tempo than the Naxos
offering. Note the solo cello - rather
wiry on the Naxos - is much better here,
entering into real duet with the soloist.
The finale (Allegro non troppo)
is taken at its tempo giusto;
it just feels right. Jochum reveals
a real sense of fantasy here, too.
Both discs include
the 1846 Trio. Tudor's recording is
excellent, revealing a real sense of
space. The three players radiate spontaneity.
Again, each movement is faster on Tudor
but, importantly, there is never any
sense of rushing. Rather, the work unfolds
naturally with a real sense of give-and-take
from the players. The Tudor account's
tempo for the Scherzo (Tempo di menuetto)
seems to sit precisely in between the
tempo of a stately minuet and that of
a more impetuous scherzo, and is remarkably
effective for it. Jochum, Silverstein
and Carr display supreme delicacy. To
their credit, the third movement is
far closer to the stipulated Andante
than the Naxos team provide - who
err towards Adagio, yet there
is no loss of emotive depth. Pure affection
characterises the finale, the inviting
warmth of the opening saying it all.
The final piece is
the Three Romances for violin
and piano, Op. 22; an interesting opus
number, as the booklet claims Clara
only wrote 21 opuses! - this just after
claiming the Piano Trio and the Romances
are both Op. 17! The first, an Andante
molto, seems initially to be more
questing than any music heard so far.
It settles to an easier flow, expressively
given here by Silverstein and Jochum.
There is an attractive light touch to
the central Allegretto before
a rather unsettled finale - marked Leidenschaftlich,
schnell - closes the disc most effectively.
So, which to choose?.
Ideally, own both the Naxos and the
Tudor if you can as there is no doubting
the strength of Nicolosi's advocacy
on the former. Yet there is the bonus
of an extra piece on the Tudor, plus
a finer orchestra for the concerto ...