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It is good to see renewed interest in Prague-born composer Erwin Schulhoff. After a life linked to Debussy and Reger (with whom he studied), Schulhoff was to end his days in the Wülzburg concentration camp in 1942.

Caroline Weichert is a magnificent pianist, and to hear Schulhoff played at this level is revelatory. The disc opens with the 1922 Partita, in which Schulhoff adds jazz titles for the individual movements. Here, one finds shadows of Stravinsky and Poulencian neo- classicism. The fifth movement, Boston, is the most emotionally exploratory. Weichert honours the humour throughout but still manages to project the piece’s importance.

The brief Fox-Song (a transcription) evokes late night jazz cafés, but it is overshadowed by the Suite No 2 for the left hand. Weichert is fearless here. Within the space of a mere quarter of an hour Schulhoff evokes myriad worlds, from the Impressionistic Preludio and the tissue-delicate Air through to the angular staccato of the Finale. Memorable music, powerfully played.

The Variations seems very Reger-influenced. The modal theme seems replete for variation, and so it is, with perhaps the brief spiky, glissando-embellished Ninth Variation providing the highlight. The final Fugue begins in gorgeously limpid fashion, rising to a granitic climax.

The recording is of the top rank, delivering believable presence. Kathryn Stott’s disc of Schulhoff (BIS) is the ideal complement, if Weichert’s offering has whetted the appetite. Fascinating repertoire, expertly performed and recorded.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing