|Highlight of the Month|
“This powerful disc combines two of the most formidable examples of 19th-century piano music … Lewis brings out the first movement’s extraordinary improvisatory character and is equal to the second’s ferocious demands.”
David Cairns – The Sunday Times, 11th January 2015
Following a critically-acclaimed Schubert sonata series, Paul Lewis' now explores Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Schumann's Fantasie.
‘Music is never about things. Music just is’, Leonard Bernstein once said. Perhaps that was why Schumann decided to remove the evocative titles (‘Ruin, Triumphal Arch, Constellation’) from his Fantasie: the music has an independent existence without them. Is the same true of Pictures at an Exhibition? Mussorgsky created here something subtler and more ambivalent than Hartmann’s paintings might suggest. Alongside the dazzling virtuosity they call for, Paul Lewis’s unexpected coupling reveals the purely musical qualities of these two 19th-century masterpieces.