Internationally acclaimed pianist Imogen Cooper just released a new CD pairing the works of Robert and Clara Schumann.
Geoffrey Norris, of The Telegraph, reviewed the CD highly, while also acknowledging the too-often-forgotten history:
The situation today, however, is rather the reverse of what it was in their lifetime. Clara was the really famous one. When they travelled together, Robert was often treated as a sort of Mr Clara Schumann. Nowadays, when memories of Clara’s piano playing have faded, Robert’s music has become the chief focus of attention.
The CD features the Romance in B Major and Le Ballet des Revenants. Cooper choose these, and the works by Robert (Sonata, Op. 11, Humoresque, Op. 20, and Romanze) with careful intention
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Cooper unites Clara and Robert by preceding the sonata with Clara’s Le Ballet des Revenants from her Pièces Caractéristiques Op 5, which opens with a motif precisely resembling one that occurs in the first movement of Robert’s sonata. Both were written in 1833. It’s tantalising to wonder who copied whom or whether it was a creative pact.