Lena Neudauer

Robert Schumann: Sämtliche Werke für Violine und Orchester

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Despite drawing his inspiration from the great violinist Joseph Joachim, Robert Schumann's works for violin and orchestra have endured a bumpy path. The first such composition is the Op. 131 Fantasy for violin and orchestra, a piece that Joachim greatly admired and kept among his active repertoire for many years following Schumann's death. The D minor concerto, which followed quickly behind the Fantasy, was given a less-than ideal premiere and was not kept active by Joachim. Through a sequence of rather bizarre events, the concerto did not receive its first official publication until 1937, but was fraught with numerous errors and misinterpretations. As a result, the violin concerto never lived up to the potential of the cello or piano concertos. Not until 2009 was a new, more carefully edited version of the concerto released (used for this recording). Schumann also released a version of the Cello Concerto for violin (not premiered until 1987), and three of his Op. 85 pieces for piano four-hands were transposed for violin and orchestra and are included on this album. Performing the complete violin and orchestra works are violinist Lena Neudauer and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie under Pablo González. Neudauer possesses a clean, polished technique; precise intonation; and a pleasing tone. Her interpretation of these frequently overlooked pieces, however, does little to cast new light on them. Her playing, while technically solid, is rather bland and musically lackluster. There's little in the way of passion, intensity, drive, or assertion over the orchestra. The violin version of the Cello Concerto pales in comparison to the original, offering none of the typical sweeping sonorities or fervor.

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