Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 54; Introduction and Allegro appassionato, Op 92; Introduction and Concert-Allegro, Op 134; Träumerei, Op 15 No 7

Reviewed on Wed 06 Apr, 2016

Jan Lisiecki’s playing not only sings but it breathes as well, with a fine sense of pacing, and every note is precise.

That so much of Schumann’s ever-popular Piano Concerto is marked by arpeggiating chords is sometimes considered a weakness of his piano style, but in fact it really adds a chamber-music sound to contrast with the heroic solo dialogue, and this recording, just from the standpoint of piano-orchestra balance, is the nicest I’ve heard on CD. The orchestra is always an equal partner in the contest, never subordinated, and you can hear everything. Jan Lisiecki’s playing not only sings but it breathes as well, with a fine sense of pacing, and every note is precise. The two later works on this melodious disc, one-movement concertos so to speak, show that even in his declining years Schumann had plenty of dramatic vigor left. Träumerei makes a bittersweet solo encore. Performances and overall sound, piano and orchestra alike, are excellent.
–Mark DeVoto