Humoresques: Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Reger, Schumann | MSR Classics MS1662

Humoresques: Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Reger, Schumann

£16.33

Label: MSR Classics

Cat No: MS1662

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 5th October 2018

Contents

About

Daria Rabotkina is on the music faculty of the Texas State University as Assistant Professor of Piano. Her inventive programme features Humoresques, that are mainly quite short. The one by Schumann lasts 28 minutes. Those by Reger will surprise!

The humoresque exists because authors and composers made it so. It is not a form, it does not have a clear-cut meaning, and it certainly is not always funny. The author of the first significant musical Humoresque, Robert Schumann lamented to a friend in a letter about the lack of an adequate translation of this German word in French. The best the English language offers are the words “funny,” “sensitive,” “cozy,” and “witty.” A term of complexity and elegance, it inspired a handful of composers to explore its various sides and was revived in works of diverse magnitude. It is a curious fact that Schumann’s original humoresque is many times the size of the other miniatures with this name. Each composer approached the genre with blazing idiosyncrasy. It seems that the Humoresque medium embraced their personal peculiarities in a way that other genres seldom do. For good measure, Dvořák, Reger and Rachmaninov wrote their Humoresques in the last six years of the 19th century. Not that I think that they conspired on this together, but it is a curiously narrow window of time for such obscure genre. It is fascinating to consider why these three, strikingly different composers all arrived at this form at the same time.

“The mischievous smile on Daria’s face on the booklet cover is an indication of the sinfully delicious pleasures to be enjoyed in the present CD… [Max Reger’s Humoresques] pose a challenge to the pianist’s artistry that Daria obviously accepts with relish!... [In the Schumann] Keeping the larger structure in mind while one relishes the delicious details requires the insight of as accomplished an artist as Rabotkina. The result is as satisfying an account as I have heard of this work.” – Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club (September 2018)

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