This album features Schumann’s Complete Works for Cello played by Ella van Poucke, the winner of the prestigious Premio Chigiana in 2017 and most recently the Grachtenfestival Prize. She is accompanied on the album by pianist Jean Claude Vanden Eynden and the Phion Orchestra of Gelderland & Overijssel conducted by Gunter Neuhold.
Schumann composed his Cello Concerto in about two weeks during November 1850. Before Schumann, few major composers had written cello concertos. Schumann avoids technical display for its own sake, allowing his characteristic poetic expression, intimacy, and fantasy to prevail.
Schumann originally scored the Fantasiestücke Opus 73 (1849) for clarinet and piano but simultaneously provided alternative arrangements for violin or cello. In his choice of clarinet Schumann was typically innovative. The three pieces are melodically interrelated, creating a unity underlined by the absence of breaks between them.
Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro in A flat major, Opus 70 dates from a week after the Fantasiestucke Opus 73. He originally intended his Opus 70 for the new valve horn, though he named cello, violin, or viola as alternative instruments. The piece is fully characteristic of Schumann’s Romantic spirit. The expansive and dreamily romantic Adagio gives way to an Allegro with a leaping, joyful main theme.
Just as Schumann had wanted “popular elements” to prevail in his Rhenish Symphony (1850), the Fünf stücke im Volkston (1849) are correspondingly simple, tuneful, and accessible. Nevertheless, Schumann’s creative imagination and wide expressive range are no less apparent.
Ella says “I would like to invite you into a world I love dearly. The fantasy rich world of Robert Schumann’s music. As a child I was intrigued by what I sensed to be the captivating and magical inner world of Schumann’s music. Years later I came to understand that the raw intuition that drew me to this music as a child was a spellbinding quality that characterizes Schumann’s music and to this day fascinates me.”
Ella van Poucke – Cello
Jean Claude Vanden Eynden – Piano
Phion Orchestra of Gelderland & Overijssel
Gunter Neuhold – Conductor
Total time: 01:01:19
Ella van Poucke, Gunter Neuhold, Jean-Claude van den Eynden, Phion Orchestra of Gelderland & Overijssel
|Analog to Digital Converters|
dCS & Merging Technologies
Many thanks for the support of the Rosanne Philippens Foundation
Bert van der Wolf
Avalon Acoustic & Musikelectronic Geithain
|Original Recording Format|
Bert van der Wolf
Martijn van der Wolf
Bert van der Wolf
Parkzaal, Musis Sacrum, Arnhem (tracks 11-13) on January 26-29, 2021 & Haas Teichen Hall, Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, http://www.musicchapel.org (tracks 1- 10) on June 11-13 2021
|Release Date||September 29, 2021|
Three chamber music works, and the Concerto by Robert Schumann have been recorded by the Dutch cellist Ella van Poucke. Her motto is Schumann’s statement that he could not compose the concerto for a virtuoso and had to try something else. And at the same time, she has felt the richness of fantasy in this music since her childhood.
The young cellist has used both elements in her interpretations. In doing so, the character of the works is fully respected. Thus, the Fantasy Pieces and the Pieces in Folk Tone, led the soloist to an intimate and relaxed music-making. Throughout, she plays with a cantabile tone and fine playing. Dumpling or strained tones, as can also be elicited from a cello, are not her thing. Even in faster and technically demanding situations, she remains true to the well-shaped, fine performance and doesn’t let anything derail her. This does not mean that per performance is not striking and intense. But her aesthetic playing always has charm.
The chamber music was conceived with a different instrumentation, such as the Fantasiestücke, for clarinet and piano. At the same time, however, Schumann himself also arranged or intended versions for cello with piano, so that this instrumentation can also be considered authentic. For the three pieces with piano, Ella van Poucke has found the older Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden as a partner, who is not only an experienced advisor to her, but also an excellent accompanist and shares her interpretive approach.
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