Camillo SCHUMANN (1872-1946)
Sonata No.1 in G minor for Piano and Cello Op.59 (n.d) [21:40]
Konzertstücke Op. 20 (1901) [12:04]
Sonata No.2 in C minor for Piano and Cello Op.99 (1932) [29:11]
Maria Kliegel (cello); Francesco Piemontesi (piano)
rec. DRS, Zurich, 7-9 February 2009. DDD
NAXOS 8.572314 [63:07]
Camillo Schumann was the younger brother of the better-known Georg. In spite of their name and profession, they were not related to the great Schumann, but did have generations of musicians in their own family. Camillo held a number of provincial posts in Germany and was a prominent organizer of and participant in regional festivals. At the same time he composed over three hundred pieces of music in almost all genres, specializing in chamber music, of which we have several examples on this disc.
The works here cover the years 1901 to 1932. Earliest in date of composition are the two Konzertstücke Op.20. The use of the word ‘Konzert” implies substantial one-movement works rather than small-scale, less serious pieces. This is especially true of the Romanze, which has an impressive main theme, skilfully developed. The Mazurka partakes more of the salon, but is still worthwhile. Both pieces, dating from Schumann’s 29th year, are cast in a style that Brahms or Liszt would have recognized.
In the Cello Sonata No.1 we inhabit the same sound-world as that of the Konzertstücke, although the Sonata was written approximately twenty years later. However, this cannot disguise the fact that the work is mellifluous and well-constructed, with beautiful themes that are imaginatively developed. The Andante movement is especially moving and the last movement has a lot of charm.
The Cello Sonata No.2 is a more lyrical work than the first, but also strikes a deeper, almost tragic note, especially in the opening allegro and the succeeding slow movement. The scherzo is less impressive, but has a charming trio. I found that the last movement disappointing after what had gone before.
Naxos regular Maria Kliegel again demonstrates her ability to get the maximum emotional impact from a piece while not losing sight of formal concerns. The young Francesco Piemontesi, also known for recordings of Robert Schumann, provides thoughtful, if somewhat restrained accompaniment. Recording quality is good, especially where the cello is concerned. In sum, a disc of worthwhile, if not earth-shaking music, especially for the seeker of little-known 20th century music.
Little-known, but attractive music by a 20th century disciple of Brahms.