In recent years, Ragna Schirmer has continued to make a name for herself as the most extraordinary pianist in Germany. This time, she turns to Schumann’s contemporary Felix Mendelssohn whose complete Works for Piano and Orchestra she now presents together with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken conducted by Günther Herbig. This recording is once more a very personal testimony to her intense individual analysis …….
An air of leisure, if not outright luxury, pervades pianist Ragna Schirmer's 1999 recording of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations. From the deluxe double-disc packaging – many Goldberg recordings make do with only one CD – to the taking of all repeats, this is a set for dedicated listeners who have ample time to appreciate the subtleties of Bach's art of variation, and the patience to devote nearly 87 minutes to hearing this work straight through. It would be unfair to suggest that Schirmer plays the variations too slowly, or that the performance is in any way sluggish or tedious because she takes her time. Indeed, she is quite capable of imparting a feeling of virtuosity and brilliance as she skillfully works her way through the embellishments and the trickier passages of Bach's elaborate counterpoint, …….Blair Sanderson @ AllMusic
If you love Beethoven's Violin Concerto you'll love the piano version of it. Played with impeccable technique and heart by the incomparable Ms Schirmer. The Schmidt pairing is an intrigueing and little-known work. All-in-all, this is a great album.E. Chester @ Amazon.com
This album by young German pianist Ragna Schirmer is subtitled "Revisited" probably because it is the artist's second of music by Haydn for the Berlin Classics label. But the word might apply equally well to Schirmer's programming approach, which mixes Haydn sonatas (no longer rare items) with smaller keyboard works. Such pieces as the "Katharinen-Tänze," a set of 12 minuets (Hob. 9/11) not so commonly heard, and a mixed program that gives listeners a break between the more substantial sonatas makes musical sense…….James Manheim @ AllMusic
Haydn's C major sonata No. 60, recorded here by the fine pianist Ragna Schirmer, betrays its temporal proximity to Haydn's unpredictable "London" Symphonies and their frequent eccentricities. The "additive" process at the opening of the first movement is only one example.The first Allegro is one of the most impressive monothematic sonata-form movements in Haydn's output. The first theme is a sparse articulation of the tonic triad that pauses …….
Brahms' works for piano open and close his career as a composer. In his earliest sets of variations, especially those of Op. 9, the melody is of primary importance, and Brahms clings to it while freely changing the harmony. His later studies of Beethoven, however, led to his transformation of the melody into something new, adhering to the theme's basic phrase structure and harmonic pattern. As had Bach in his "Goldberg" Variations and Beethoven in the "Diabelli" Variations, Brahms, in the Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Händel, Op. 24, constructed a sprawling masterwork ……..
Handel's solo keyboard works tend to be overshadowed by Bach's and are thus rarely heard. This is a great pity, as there is much delightful music in these works. This is brought out by the young German pianist Ragna Schirmer in this 3-CD collection. Played on a modern piano, rather than on the harpsichord for which they were written, Frau Schirmer produces effortless, elegant performances that dance beautifully along.Teemacs @ Amazon.com
My final Ragna Schirmer post is an interesting combination of Chopin's Etudes Nr. 1-12, with the Etude Fantasy and the Fantasia on an Ostinato (Theme form Beethoven's Symphonie Nr. 7) by John Corigliano. Enjoy
The year 2010 marked the 200th anniversary of the births of Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann, two great Romantic composers who were also friends and colleagues. Indeed, when Chopin appeared on the musical scene, Schumann wrote in his 1831 review, "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!" While Chopin's regard for Schumann was a little less enthusiastic, for their artistic aims and sensibilities were dissimilar, the two were respectful …….Blair Sanderson @ AllMusic
Coupling Robert Schumann's well-known Symphonic Etudes with his nearly unknown Beethoven etudes, this disc by Ragna Schirmer will be a feast for dedicated fans of the Romantic composer. Not only does the young German pianist perform the 13 standard movements from the Symphonic Etudes, she interpolates the six movements the composer deleted prior to publication – and the result is a richer and fuller picture of the work. Even better, she ……James Leonard @ AllMusic