Variations: Clara & Robert Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Muhly, Iyer | Somm SOMMCD0603

Variations: Clara & Robert Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Muhly, Iyer


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Label: Somm

Cat No: SOMMCD0603

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 27th September 2019



Making an impressive solo debut on SOMM this month is the young, fast-rising pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen.

This superbly realised recital includes Variations by Robert and Clara Schumann, Brahms and Mendelssohn, and first recordings of two new works, specially commissioned by Mishka for this recording, by Nico Muhly and Vijay Iyer. A single theme from Robert Schumann’s Bunte Blätter is the prompt for completely different, sometimes opposing, sets of musical mutations, the result as exciting as it is intriguing.

A birthday gift for her husband, Clara Schumann’s Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann are “an outpouring of generosity and love” that inspired Brahms’s Op.9 Variations, which Rushdie Momen describes in her booklet notes as “one of his most intimate and personal expressions”.

The “burst of harmonic and rhythmic invention” that is Robert Schumann’s Op.5 Impromptus, and Mendelssohn’s “concise, rigorously constructed” Variations sérieuses were both modelled on Beethoven’s “Eroica” Variations.

Completing a recital brilliantly illustrating Rushdie Momen’s conviction that “the possibilities of the variation form seem infinite” are two world premiere recordings: Nico Muhly’s Small Variations – “a five-minute chorale with an explosion halfway through it” – and Vijay Iyer’s Hallucination Party, a “fever dream” packed with surprises.

No stranger to SOMM, Mishka Rushdie Momen joined two of today’s finest pianists – Valerie Tryon and Peter Donohoe – in Mozart’s dazzling Piano Concerto for Three Pianos, K242 (SOMMCD2682) in 2018.

Mishka studied with Joan Havill, Richard Goode and Imogen Cooper and was mentored by Sir András Schiff, who presented her in recitals throughout Europe and in New York for his acclaimed Building Bridges series.

A Guildhall School of Music and Drama graduate, Mishka is also a committed chamber musician who has partnered Steven Isserlis, Midori and members of the Endellion, Belcea and Artemis String Quartets.

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