Internationally acclaimed pianist Imogen Cooper just released a new CD pairing the works of Robert and Clara Schumann.
Geoffrey Norris, of The Telegraph, reviewed the CD highly, while also acknowledging the too-often-forgotten history:
The situation today, however, is rather the reverse of what it was in their lifetime. Clara was the really famous one. When they travelled together, Robert was often treated as a sort of Mr Clara Schumann. Nowadays, when memories of Clara’s piano playing have faded, Robert’s music has become the chief focus of attention.
The CD features the Romance in B Major and Le Ballet des Revenants. Cooper choose these, and the works by Robert (Sonata, Op. 11, Humoresque, Op. 20, and Romanze) with careful intention
Cooper unites Clara and Robert by preceding the sonata with Clara’s Le Ballet des Revenants from her Pièces Caractéristiques Op 5, which opens with a motif precisely resembling one that occurs in the first movement of Robert’s sonata. Both were written in 1833. It’s tantalising to wonder who copied whom or whether it was a creative pact.