Clara Schumann-Wieck, also known as Clara Schumann or Clara Wieck, was the greatest child prodigy of the 19th century. At the age of 11, she published her opus 1, four polonaises. Only one year later she published her first mature compositions, the Caprices op. 2. Clara was also one of the greatest virtuosos of her time. She premiered the extremely difficult piano concerto by her friend Adolf von Henselt. As a pianist, she was the inventor of the modern piano recital.
We are launching an exciting new series this autumn, dedicated to the Romantic Piano Sonata. The first release is Carl Loewe's Gypsy Sonata, a greatest, eccentric and compelling sonata.
Variations on a theme by Diabelli
Every piano lover is familiar with Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. These came about because Anton Diabelli commissioned the leading composers of his time to write variations on a simple tune. Beethoven took his task very seriously, but there were 50 more composers who accepted the invitation, including an 11-year-old Franz Liszt, as well as Franz Schubert, Friedrich Kalkbrenner and Carl Czerny, who also wrote the finale. An epic cycle!
Ludwig Schuncke was a friend of Robert Schumann and lived to be only 24 years old. His sonata is of a maturity few have achieved at that age. Stylistically, it is a continuation of late sonatas by Schubert, mixed with a strong romanticism.
Eduard de Hartog
Eduard de Hartog was a Dutch composer who was a friend of Henri Litolff. His Scherzo Le Bacchanale is dedicated to De Hartog. We have in preparation his Grande Sonate-Symphonie, a monumental piano sonata in a virtuoso-romantic style.
Who doesn't love a brilliant encore? We are collecting our favourite encores to compile a reference work of effective encores. Tips and suggestions are most welcome.
Edward WolffWolff: Piano Works
In Paris, Edward Wolff befriended his slightly older compatriot Frédéric Chopin, who, like him, lived in Paris as a Polish exile. Out of this friendship - and admiration - came perhaps the greatest homage in Romantic piano music: the Grand Allegro de Concert, a work that hardly has its equal in terms of monumentality: in almost 50 pages, Wolff plunges you into Chopin's sound world, as if a new work by Chopin had been discovered. In addition, Wolff was active as a pianist and composer with his very own style. He was a formidable rival of Liszt and Thalberg.
Adolf (von) HenseltHenselt: Piano Works
The last of an exceptional generation of piano innovators, Adolf von Henselt was born in Schwabach, Bavaria, in 1814. His music is not only exceptionally difficult, but also possesses a poetic beauty. Henselt is sometimes and somewhat unfortunately called the German Chopin or the Chopin of the North, but in fact he has a style of his own. Among his masterpieces are the extraordinary Variations op. 1, once a favourite piece of Clara Schumann-Wieck, and the magnificent Ballade op. 31.
Carl CzernyCzerny: Piano Works
A pupil of Beethoven and teacher of Liszt, Carl Czerny is known for his piano studies, but as one of the most prolific composers of all time, he left an exceptional oeuvre. He wrote, among others, 11 piano sonatas, 20 masses, 4 requiems, 6 symphonies, between 20 and 40 string quartets, other chamber music, but also performance pieces for students and for himself.
Henry LitolffLitolff: Scherzi and other piano works
Henry Litolff has led an exceptional life, in which he was persecuted for abduction, wandered through Europe in poverty, was one of the most celebrated pianists of a city that was more or less populated by pianists, until he failed as an opera composer and died in total oblivion. Besides four serious piano concertos, Litolff has become known mainly for salon music, which, contrary to the genre, is averse to sentimentality, but excels in a cheerful hyper-virtuosity.