Exclusive Early Release at NativeDSD in Stereo & 5.1 Channel Surround Sound – 1 Week Before Official Release!
The Schumann Collection, Volume 2 is a double album from pianist Nicolas van Poucke. It follows his earlier recording The Schumann Collection, Volume 1 which is also available from NativeDSD. The album is available at Native DSD Music 1 week before its official release in Stereo and 5.1 Channel Surround Sound!
In 2020 I was approached by TRPTK to record an album. Due to the lockdown resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the world looked very different and live music performances had come to a halt. The idea of using the time in lockdown well, by recording an album while waiting to get back on stage as soon as the circumstances allowed, sounded great.
I chose to record three pieces of Robert Schumann which were already in my repertoire. At the end of the recording period the TRPTK team suggested we call the album “The Schumann Collection Volume l”, implying there would be more to come; I agreed happily.
In the process of preparing for the recording I fully immersed myself in Schumann’s musical universe and my obsession with this music took off. The agreement with TRPTK inspired me to continue my Schumann journey and resulted in this album containing pieces from both Schumann’s early and late period.
Nicolas van Poucke, Piano
From the Blog
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:52:14
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||September 29, 2023|
Nicolas van Poucke knows ‘his’ Schumann, as unmistakably as he is universally convincing. As this new double album, which was launched as part 2, once again proves.
If I would like to highlight ‘something’, it would be the – not provided with an opus number – ‘Geistervariationen’ from 1854, its name taken from the delusions that increasingly plagued the composer, including the angelic song that haunted him. Kept him awake all the time. It was those same angels who whispered the ‘Geister theme’ to him at night, after which the five variations just flowed from his pen shortly afterwards. Van Poucke turns it into a true gem, with the theme under his hands truly ‘Leise, intimate’, the shades still beautifully colored,
Needless to say, recording producer Brendon Heinst and piano technician Charles Rademaker have created a beautiful recording. After all, there can be nothing more rewarding for a musician than recognizing all the details of his playing in the recording.
Reviewing the previous release in Nicolas van Poucke’s Schumann survey: Schumann: Piano Works, Vol. 1 – van Poucke, I was surprised and impressed by this natural talent. Having eagerly awaited Vol. 2 I’m now pleased to confirm that he is all I said before.
Nicolas van Poucke distinguishes himself by taking his time and by observing numerous repeats Schumann added later to balance out the score. Measured against almost every other pianist in my comparison, van Poucke is slower, no matter whether a movement is marked ‘Langsam’, ‘Wild und Lustig, or ‘Aufgeregt’. However, and that is, to me, the sheer magic of his playing, he captivates the listener at all times, revealing emotional tension and lyrical prose that may have escaped other interpreters.
Although I do not want to say that there are no other first-rate readings of Schumann’s piano legacy, we must nonetheless admit that we have here a strong contender, recorded at the highest possible natural level. My listening is in 5.1 Channel Surround Sound, which is already mighty good. Do not hesitate.
Performance: 5 Stars, Sound Quality in 5.1 Channel Surround Sound: 5 Stars
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