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The curiosity here is Schumann’s notional Piano Sonata No 4, a work reconstructed in its first and fourth movements by pianist/ conductor/composer/musicologist Santiago Mantas. The second movement is a Scherzo removed by Schumann from his Sonata No 3; the third comprises the rejected variations of Sonata No 3’s third movement, prefixed by Clara Schumann’s theme. Skilfully managed, this is more than just a curio, and goes one step further than Jinsang Lee on Naxos’ presentation of sketches plus Rasmussen’s realisation of the finale. The harmonic explorations of that finale in Mantas’ version are particularly intriguing.

The Sonata is coupled with a sensitive account of Kinderszenen (although ‘Kuriose Geschichte’ is quite routine, ‘Glückes genug’ spins pure magic) and the wonderful Waldszenen. The superbly balanced recording supports Mantas’ tender way. Finally, a brief, elusive piece by Mantas himself, the touching Poppy Fields.

This is a superbly recorded Blu-ray: movement titles are seen alone onscreen during playback. Recommended.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2018 - ©Rhinegold Publishing