A Memorable Schumann Chopin Recital from Imogen Cooper

‘Parallel Path'

Wigmore Hall, 13.2.2015

Schumann: Humoresque Op.20
Novelletten Op 21
No. 8 in F minor
No. 2 in D
Chopin: Barcarolle Op. 60
Nocturne in E flat Op. 55
Fantasy in F minor Op. 49
Two Nocturnes Op. 62: No. 1 in B; No, 2 in E
Ballade No. 1 in G minor Op. 23

"[...] The cultural critic Slavoj Zizek, who usually writes about politics and psychoanalysis, has devoted several essays to the music of Robert Schumann in which he attempts to define what he sees (or hears) as ‘unique’. [He] focuses on a kind of ‘double discourse” [and] notes a dialectic in which a protean range of themes, melodies, harmonies, counterpoint, are subtended by aporetic silences ( ‘sphinxes’ as the composer called them) and music from another register [...] which Zizek talks of in terms the Unheimlich (uncanny) and Phantasmic. [...]

Unlike the more ‘classical’ interpretations of Kempf and Schiff (superb in their own terms) Cooper really emphasised the bi-polarity of the music. [...]

[This recital] will stay in my memory for many years."

Geoff Diggines