Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6 [29:09]
Kreisleriana, Op. 16 [26:49]
Eugen Indjic (piano)
rec. 2013, Filharmonia Pomorska, Bydgoszcz, Poland
DUX 1187 [55:58]
Eugen Indjic has been best known, recently, as one of the victims of the
Joyce Hatto hoax. Hatto’s widely acclaimed recordings of the Chopin mazurkas
were, in fact, made by Indjic, and those very good performances are now
available again on the Calliope record label. Indjic has an artistic history
which goes back much further than that. He was once the youngest soloist to
perform with the Boston Symphony, appearing as a teenager by invitation of
Erich Leinsdorf, and his biography boasts of close friendships with Arthur
Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz and Alexandre Tansman. Emil Gilels called him
“a unique and inspired artist”.
Many years have passed since then, but this CD is evidence that Indjic is
still, indeed, “a unique and inspired artist”. Why aren’t more of his
recordings widely available? Can Dux continue to remedy this?
This is a fine Schumann recital, consisting of two big suite-style pieces,
. Both are early works,
both are immediately appealing to the listener, and both present challenges
to the performer which go well beyond finger fatigue. These pieces capture
Schumann’s bipolar personality well, bounding quickly between his expressive
poles of bubbly enthusiasm and deep contemplation.
Indjic is fully capable of this range of expression. He plays this music
with a solidity and straightforwardness which call to mind past names like
Kempff. Recent pianists like Herbert Schuch and Michael Endres have drawn
bigger contrasts, in Kreisleriana, by playing up the sudden dynamic shifts
and pushing the music’s bipolar nature to extremes. Personally, I like that
style of contrastful performance, but if you are inclined to a more sober
experience, Indjic is a great guide. He is especially good in the last few
pieces from Davidsbündlertänze
. Here the reflective Schumann and
thoughtful Indjic are truly kindred spirits.
Dux’s recorded sound is very good, although be warned the standard CD
comes in a case that’s usually associated with SACDs. I find it very hard to
resist the combination of a very good pianist, an exceptional piano, rich
music and state-of-the-art sound. Let’s hope this is the beginning of an
extensive collaboration. I want to hear an Eugen Indjic Brahms recital.