Robert Schumann: Piano Sonata No. 2, Presto passionato & Études symphoniques

“However formally perplexing, Schumann’s piano sonatas brim over with an irresistible fantasy and freedom. They are also exceptionally demanding, but Hamish Milne, taking time off from his pioneering work on Medtner’s behalf, is so sympathetic to their quality that you forget how awkwardly unpianistic Schumann’s writing can be.” – Gramophone

Sonata in G minor Op.22
1. So rasch wie möglich
2. Andantino (Getragen)
3. Scherzo (Sehr rasch und markiert)
4. Rondo (Presto possible, Prestissimo, quasi cadenza)

5. Presto Passionato Op.posth.

Études Symphoniques Op.13
6. Theme – Andante [C♯ minor]
7. Étude I (Variation 1) – Un poco più vivo [C♯ minor]
8. Étude II (Variation 2) – Andante [C♯ minor]
9. Étude III – Vivace [E Major]
10. Étude IV (Variation 3) – Allegro marcato [C♯ minor]
11. Étude V (Variation 4) – Scherzando [C♯ minor]
12. Étude VI (Variation 5) – Agitato [C♯ minor]
13. Étude VII (Variation 6) – Allegro molto [E Major]
14. Étude VIII (Variation 7) – Sempre marcatissimo [C♯ minor]
15. Étude IX – Presto possibile [C♯ minor]
16. Étude X (Variation 8) – Allegro con energia [C♯ minor]
17. Étude XI (Variation 9) – Andante espressivo [G♯ minor]
18. Étude XII (Finale) – Allegro brillante [D♭ Major]

Studies. Op. Posth
19. Variation 1
20. Variation 2
21. Variation 3
22. Variation 4
23. Variation 5

ArtistHamish Milne – piano
Reviews"In the first of two discs devoted to all three sonatas (together with some substantial additions) he propels the Second Sonata's heated argument with unfailing ease and lucidity, a purely musical quality that refuses more obvious bombast or dazzle. The Andantino's seamless reverie is tempered with a special gravity, and there is no lack of vivacity in the concluding Scherzo and Rondo. What a case Milne makes, too, for the fizzing alternative finale, music of the fiercest intricacy, yet played here with an almost speculative bias; again a fine and convincing alternative to more openly flamboyant virtuosity. In the Études symphoniques he also achieves a true balance between sense and sensitivity. The theme is naturally rather than portentously paced and there is just the right touch of vehemence in the pulsing chords of No. 2 or the con gran bravura agitation of No. 6. Impulse may weaken marginally in the final ebullient pages (and here I am thinking of Pollini on DG in particular) but the absence of false rhetoric or inflation of any kind again provides a winning compensation. The five posthumous études are added as a garland of encores and should please those who find them an alien presence when scattered freely through the main work. Hamish Milne is notably rapt and communing in No. 4, and in No. 5 he uses an interesting variant at 0'57'', spicing the right hand melody with considerable left-hand elaboration. The recordings are bright and clear (very much Bob Auger's sound) and the second volume is eagerly awaited." – Gramophone
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