The first edition of Schumann’s Fantasie in C, Op 17 has a number of differences from the edition more commonly used today, chiefly concerning the first movement (Schumann had originally planned the work as a single movement titled Ruinen [‘Ruins’]). David Wilde has reinstated many significant details both small and large, resulting in a revelatory reading of this tumultuous love-poem to the young Clara. In contrast, Kinderszenen, a touching and vernal evocation of childhood, is given a performance of artless innocence that chimes with Wilde’s conviction that ‘it shouldn’t sound mature’. Carnaval’s colourful cast of characters is viscerally and imaginatively brought to life, culminating in David’s fearsome ‘March against the Philistines’.
A veteran of the Romantic piano tradition, David Wilde brings six decades of intense experience to this recital. His playing harks back to a time when audiences expected much more from the performer. This is Schumann with personality – listeners searching for a ‘safe’ experience will be disappointed!