Clara Wieck, who in 1840 was to become Clara Schumann, was a significant figure in the lives both of her husband Robert and of Johannes Brahms, to whom the Schumanns became mentors. The double inspirations of Clara and of the writer E.T.A. Hoffmann’s fictional Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler are the connecting threads on this debut recording by pianist Elena Fischer-Dieskau, in which Robert’s capricious, moody Kreisleriana is joined by two sets of piano pieces by Brahms.
These three works – all of which Clara read in manuscript directly after their composition – reflect youth, maturity and old age. Fischer-Dieskau, member of a musical family which from her grandfather onwards has been deeply associated with the music of the Romantics, captures their wide spectrum of expression, from impulsiveness to autumnal mastery.