LORI SIMS Beethoven, R. Schumann, C. Schumann, Rachmaninoff

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Piano: Lori Sims
Cat. #: TP1039169 | Single CD
Label: TwoPianists Records
Recorded at: Endler Hall, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, 13 – 15 January 2012

ABOUT

The piano constitutes the ideal musical vehicle for Romanticism for it embodies an attitude toward music which subsumes all that the instrument itself makes possible: virtuosity, nuance of expression and attention to detail as artistic ideals, communication of affect through contrast in timbre and intensity, and the ability to master both large, substantial forms, as well as intimate miniatures.
She does a marvelous job with Carnaval.
Haskins, American Record Guide
The program feature on this recording exemplifies this attitude to music as much as it represents what the instrument is physically capable of.
Lori Sims received the Gold Medal at the 1998 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition – an achievement that gave her entry to an exclusive circle of prominent women pianists. Her career, and playing, has centred on two continents: Europe and the USA, both as student of Leon Fleischer and Arie Vardi and also in her great love for contemporary works as well as the traditional European repertoire.
In the first of two recordings made for the TwoPianists label, Lori introduces her European loves through such monumental works as the Beethoven Eroica Variations and the Schumann Carnaval. It is offset by two beautiful Romances by Clara Schumann and three Rachmaninoff preludes.

TRACK LIST

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) : 15 Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme in E flat major, Op. 35, “Eroica”
1 Introduzione col Basso del Tema (Allegretto vivace)
2 Variation I
3 Variation II
4 Variation III
5 Variation IV
6 Variation V
7 Variation VI
8 Variation VII (Canone all’ottava)
9 Variation VIII
10 Variation IX
11 Variation X
12 Variation XI
13 Variation XII
14 Variation XIII
15 Variation XIV (Minore)
16 Variation XV (Maggiore - Largo)
17 Finale Alla Fuga (Allegro con brio)

Robert Schumann (1810-1856): Carnaval Op. 9
18 Preambule
19 Pierrot
20 Arlequin
21 Valse noble
22 Eusebius
23 Florestan
24 Coquette
25 Replique
26 Papillons
27 ASCH - SCHA (Lettres dansantes)
28 Chiarina
29 Chopin
30 Estrella
31 Reconnaissance
32 Pantalon et Colombine
33 Valse allemande
34 Paganini
35 Aveu
36 Promenade
37 Pause
38 Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins

Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
39 Romance Op. 11 No.1, Andante
40 Romance Op. 11 No.3, Moderato

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
41 Prelude in C minor op.23 no.7: Allegro
42 Prelude in E flat major op.23 no.6: Andante
43 Prelude in B flat major op.23 no.2: Maestoso

REVIEWS

Haskins, American Record Guide, March/April 2013
She does a marvelous job with Carnaval.

Paul Boekkooi, Volksblad 7 Jan 2013

Met so pianis g’n gesoek na sonkolle
LORI SIMS, die Amerikaner wat in 1998 se Gina Bachauer-internasionale klavierkompetisie die gouemedalje-wenner was, het pas haar eerste van twee CD’s uitgereik wat sy vir Two Pianists Records van Stellenbosch opgeneem het.
Met twee gedugte werke van ’n relatief jong Beethoven en Schumann, asook miniature van meer beskeie omvang uit die vroeë loopbaan van Clara Schumann en Rachmaninof.
Sims open met Beethoven se “15 Variasies en fuga op ’n oorspronklike tema in E-mol, op. 35 – Eroica”. Variasiekuns was by Beethoven hoog aangeskryf.
Naas die hoogtepunt, sy Diabelli-variasies, is daar nagenoeg 20 vir solo-klavier, waaronder die Rule Britannia- en God Save the King-variasies.
Sy “Ses variasies” in F, op. 34 en die genoemde “Eroica-variasies” het Beethoven self as sy belangrikstes beskou omdat “hulle op ’n nuwe manier saamgestel is”. Wat hy bedoel, is in elke variasie is stemming, tempo en die toonsoort verander wat in die begin van die 19de eeu verrassend was. Sims se fokus in Op. 35 is op duidelike oortuigende karakteriseringskuns om die tema en die kleurryke uitwerking van die variasies. Op vloeiende wyse neem die werk onder haar vingers asof vanselfsprekend vorm aan. Die betrokkenheid en die spankrag van haar voordrag imponeer. So ook die gevoelsintensiteit van elke variasie te midde van sangerige, maar ook virtuose spel, gekenmerk deur oordeelkundige pedaalgebruik.
Schumann se Carnaval, op. 9 is oorwegend ’n rapsodiese werk, maar in die inleidende Preambule klink Sims se spel ligtelik gejaagd, onrustig en onstuimig – iets wat die luisteraar gou sonder twyfel laat dat sy die Florestan-kant van Schumann se aard sterker belig as dié van die dromerige Eusebius.
Sy manipuleer haar Bösendorfer se klank en beklemtoon die komponis se spitsvondig-eksentrieke aard. ’n Mens sou met dié opvatting kon verskil, maar sulke dinge kom eerder neer op haarklowery. Soos oor ’n ander pianis geskryf is: “Waarom gaan soek na kolle op die son?” Twee van Clara Schumann se “Romances”, op. 11, is openbarend. Die Op. 11, no.1, se openingsmate en slot klink betreffende resonansie en harmoniese wendinge opvallend baie na ’n Rachmaninof-jeugwerk, terwyl Op. 11, no. 3 eerder Chopineske trekke uitstraal. In drie Preludes uit Rachmaninof se Op. 23 is haar kontrasryke aanslag, met ’n suggestie van bewoënheid, ideaal. Selfs in die oorvloedige, digte figurasiewerk van die B-mol Prelude, word te geforseerde forte-klanke in bedwang gehou.

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