Elena Fischer-Dieskau: Schumann | Brahms

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.

'Beautiful accounts of three pieces intimately linked to Clara Schumann ... Fischer-Dieskau draws us through the labyrinth of Kreislerianawith a sensitivity to its quiet recesses and magical lyric stillness, as well as its bluster'

"In her debut recording, German-born pianist Elena Fischer-Dieskau – the granddaughter of legendary tenor Dietrich – chooses a robust pairing of Brahms and Schumann ... a deliciously fragrant collection. Fischer-Dieskau embraces their poetic sensitivity and colour ...

In Schumann’s multi-coloured Kreisleriana ... no channel of expression is left unexplored, Fischer-Dieskau complementing Schumann’s subtleties of phrasing and texture with neatly-gauged, often arresting robustness ... lyrical and plaintive reflection. These are commendable performances ..."


★ ★ ★ ★

'from the start of the Op. 116 Fantasies, Elena Fischer-Dieskau's determination to make her own mark on this music is clear ... the pianist combining intimacy with a sense of storytelling ... she brings an apt breathless quality to Brahms' chordal writing'

'Fischer-Dieskau brings a wonderful bell-like feel to [Brahms'] beautiful major key central section as she does in the quieter moments of the equally restless G minor rhapsodie but she is not only about the quieter music and she ably demonstrates what a kaleidoscopic palette of colour and emotional drama she has at her disposal. She is aided by Delphian's gloriously rich sound ...This is easily some of the best playing I have heard in recent listening and I can't imagine there will be much to knock it off my best of the year list'

read the full review here

Release Date: 25 June 2020
Catalogue No: DCD34255
Total playing time: 74:20

Producer/Engineer: Paul Baxter

24-bit digital editing: Jack Davis & Paul Baxter

24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter

Design: Eliot Garcia

Original 24-bit stereo sound recordings made by Delphian Records Ltd

Delphian Records Ltd – Edinburgh – UK

Singing In Secret: Clandestine Catholic Music by William Byrd CD Delphian Records


17. Two_Rhapsodies Op.79:No2 in G minor Molto passionato ma non troppo allegro

'a magician of the piano who combines intense drama with delicate lyricism'

— Schwäbische Zeitung

Exclusive Performance ...


Elena Fischer-Dieskau plays Brahms

Filmed during recording sessions in Edinburgh's Queens Hall - exclusively for Delphian

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