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Schumann - Novelletten, Op. 21

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, December 17, 2010
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Schumann - Novelletten, Op. 21 by Nicholas Roth

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About the Artist

Hailed by the Indianapolis News as "a world of talent, displaying lyrical beauty, percussive driving power never out of control, and never without security and assurance," pianist Nicholas Roth began his formal studies at age twelve, and was receiving critical acclaim for his appearances by the age of eighteen. He has appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard, among many others. Roth has been featured in recital series and festivals throughout the United States, Germany, and Spain, including the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series of Chicago, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, and Sunday Afternoons Live from the Elvehjem in Madison, Wisconsin. Roth was a Beethoven Fellow of the American Pianists Association, which provided him concert management from 1993-96. He has won first prizes in the Young Keyboard Artists Association International and Grace Welsh International Piano Competitions, as well as the chamber music competitions of Tortona and Pietra Ligure, Italy. He was also the recipient of a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) grant that enabled him to further his studies in Germany. In 1988, he was honored by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana for his "contribution to the performing arts, his accomplishments as a concert pianist, and his inspiration to young musicians." Roth holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University, an Artist Diploma from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and M.M. and B.M. degrees from Indiana University, where he was the recipient of the School of Music's highest honors including the Performer's Certificate and the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship. His teachers include Ralph Votapek, Elisso Virsaladze, Helmut Deutsch, Edward Auer, Emilio del Rosario, and Michel Block. Roth is Assistant Professor of Piano! at Drake University and was previously on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and Alma College.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Nicholas Roth
  • Audio CD (December 17, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Griffin Recording
  • Run Time: 49 minutes
  • ASIN: B0002HRZKE
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,796,828 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Jurgen Lawrenz on January 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD
My first acquaintance with this rather neglected work came with the debut recording of the late lamented Dino Ciani (DG). This recording has since been re-issued and I would urge any lover of Schumann to seek it out urgently. Ciani brought something to this music you don't find on recordings of more staid interpreters like Arrau, Klien, Demus et al - namely a young man's freshness and ardour, and an understanding that seems lacking elsewhere: That this is LOVE MUSIC full of passionate longing, desperate whispers, fiery declarations and an abundant glow of all-embracing desire and tenderness. This music is nothing other than a collection of love messages to his beloved Clara.
And so here we have another youngster wishing to make his mark with this music - surely a top candidate for a youthful, poetry-drenched account!
Alas, nothing of the kind happened. How could I forget that not all young men are star-crossed lovers like Schumann! Today they grow up in glass and concrete environments, the moon is a rock in the sky and love . . . well, let's start with sex and see. This is a post-Freudian age; and the nature that was so beloved by the Romantics at best a picture you send to your friends by email. All this, and the fact that this talented musician is already "Professor Roth" before the age of 30, is reflected in his playing on this album.
There is plenty of exhilaration, for example that Roth manages a million notes in half the time they really need for us to hear them all; and that his ride across the Schumann landscape might evoke the nature seen from a Lamborghini's window rushing down the highway at 250k/h. It is all gleaming fingerwork; but of caressing the music, of articulating the yearning, the hope, the frustration, the sudden eruptions of passion, there is not a trace.
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