Schumann: Album for the Young/Ammara SACD

Review by: Jed Distler

Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 10

Alessandra Ammara gives us the best recording of Schumann’s Album für die Jugend since Michael Endres’ reference version. She plays these teaching pieces like real music, and matches Endres’ ability to project both the music’s simple sentiments and inner sophistication. Granted, she over-points the odd crescendo and occasionally underlines an inner voice that only needs a little nudging, yet Ammara’s strong rhythmic focus and dynamic contrasts vivify pieces where Schumann’s signature dotted motives dominate (Nos. 7 and 33, for example). The pianist also phrases the lyrical pieces’ attractive tunes as if she were a great lieder singer (No. 28 is especially captivating), while even thrice-familiar selections like No. 10 (The Happy Farmer) benefit from an invigorating accent or unexpected change of hue. Arts Music’s surround-sound engineering is marvelously full and realistic, and scarcely less so via conventional two-channel stereo playback. Strongly recommended. [11/3/2010]



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Endres (Oehms)

ROBERT SCHUMANN - Album für die Jugend Op. 68

  • Alessandra Ammara (piano)

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