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Schumann performed on a fortepiano: does that really work? The short answer is, yes – at least in these vibrant performances from Alexander Melnikov. In the Piano Concerto in A minor (also featured on the accompanying DVD), he plays an 1837 Erard, its marvellously full tone suiting the music admirably as well as the period instruments of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, sensitively marshalled by Pablo Heras-Casado. My only cavil is the tempo of the finale, more Allegro moderato than Allegro vivace – though there is plenty of life in the playing. So, too, in the too-little heard Second Piano Trio where Melnikov (now using a Streicher from 1847) is once again partnered by Faust and Queyras. Their mutual understanding is audible throughout: top-quality chamber playing in a reference recording.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica

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