Cordelia Williams: Nightlight

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Cordelia Williams’ dual interests are quickly uncovered by the discovery that she was not only the Piano Winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2006, since when she has embarked on a globetrotting performing and recording career, but that she has also has a First in Theology from Clare College, Cambridge.

Williams’ pianism and spiritual enquiry share the focus of Nightlight, her fourth solo piano disc for SOMM Recordings, and Pianodao’s August 2021 Recording of the Month

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Eric Lu: Chopin 24 Preludes

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The 22-year-old Chinese-American pianist Eric Lu is one of the brightest rising stars in today’s classical music firmament, his playing revealing both an exciting engagement with the repertoire and a fresh and compelling new perspective on it.

Aged 20, Lu was unanimously voted winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition 2018, an achievement which propelled him firmly into the limelight and rewarded him with a management deal, major label recording deal with Warner Classics, and a concert commitment which might overwhelm the less assured player.

For his part, Lu would seem to have taken all this in his stride, the embodiment of a dream he has nurtured from a young age growing up in a house where classical music was cherished.

I briefly met Lu and heard him perform Mozart’s 23rd concerto at the Chetham’s Summer School last year (shortly before he made his BBC Proms debut with the same work), and was struck then by his poise onstage and off, his quiet confidence and calm energy.

But listening to his Warner Classics studio debut, a disc which includes Chopin’s 24 Preludes Op.28 as well as short works by Brahms and Schumann, it is the emotional range he brings to his playing which most immediately strikes me…

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The Greatest Schumann?

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In a grand publishing milestone, Breitkopf & Härtel have reissued in seven volumes Robert Schumann’s complete piano works in the edition prepared by his widow Clara Schumann, and later updated with additional fingerings by the legendary pianist Wilhelm Kempff

Let’s dig straight into the fascinating history of this one ….

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William Youn: Laughter and Tears…

Artist photography: Irène Zandel

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William Youn has been establishing a growing international reputation as a “genuine poet” of the piano (as one critic eloquently put it).

His recording of Mozart’s complete piano sonatas for Oehms Classics has received particular and extensive critical acclaim, and now he brings us his debut recital disc for major label Sony Classical.

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Wiener Urtext: ‘Primo’ Series

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“Easy” collections of the core classical piano repertoire abound, but few bring to the table the depth of scholarship, reliable editing, fingering and expert advice found in the recent (and ongoing) “Urtext Primo” series.

As the latest collection in the series – featuring the music of Clementi, Czerny and Cramer – hits the shelves of music stores worldwide, let’s take a look …

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A Schumann Rediscovery

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It is certainly a wonder that even today we are rediscovering lost treasures composed by the great masters of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. Rarely does a year pass without another “lost” manuscript finding its way into the daylight after decades – even centuries – gathering dust in a library basement, museum attic or private collection.

And such was the case with the recent rediscovery of a small solo piano miniature, Ahnung – Albumblatt for Klavier, composed by Robert Schumann (1810-1856), which was found in the Leopold-Sophie-Bibliothek in Überlingen by librarian Roswitha Lambertz whilst cataloguing the bequest of one Leo Allgeyer.

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My First Schumann

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Schott Music, the revered German publishers founded back in 1770, are maintaining an impressive commitment to new piano music publishing projects, including a wide range of resources and publications for players of all levels.

Of particular interest to intermediate players (and their teachers) will be there ongoing “My First …” series. The first two issues (Bach and Mozart – see below) have recently been joined by “My First Schumann”, which I am delighted to review here.

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