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Danny Driver has brought out some notable releases for Hyperion, such as a disc of music by Benjamin Dale. Here, he takes on a core composer, Schumann, but presents some lesser-known works. Recorded with Hyperion’s trademark excellence, this is a journey through some of Schumann’s more complex music. With Driver, the music flows impeccably along a stream of high Romanticism; yet nothing is blurred, everything is perfectly shaded. The eight Novelettes of Op 21 encompass a whole world, from the ball (No 4) to angst-ridden agitation. Driver exhibits a sure grasp of Schumann’s voice-leading and ability to speak volumes in short spaces. The Nachtstücke find Driver projecting the whispered fragility of the first piece as easily as he does the ‘laughing’ staccato of the second. As a farewell, Driver gives us an exquisite Romanze.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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