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This release oozes integrity, both in musicological and performance terms. Right from the off, Uhlig offers revelatory Schumann playing. It is as if in these shorter pieces we encounter the composer at his purest: the opening gesture of ‘Lied ohne Ende’ from Albumblatter Op 124 is full of hope and sweet yearning. Uhlig flexes his performance credentials fully in the Fantasiestück, one of those terrifically difficult, agile, flighty pieces.

The multivalent Marches Op 76 are wonderfully varied, and Uhlig is never self- indulgent. The disc offers a stack of shorter pieces preludial to the three main works. The well-known Bunte Blätter is given a beautifully burnished performance, perfectly shaped in the ‘Eintritt’, with moments of real magic. ‘Einsame Blumen’ glows from within and ‘Vogel als Prophet’ is replete with mystery.

The Fantasiestücke are given all the space they need, a superb performance. But the true joy of this disc is the (pardon the pun) unsung Gesänge der Frühe, one of Schumann’s finest piano works. Uhlig’s performance is the result of deep contemplation. Andsnes has championed this piece previously; Uhlig is just as fine.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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