Partita in D minor for Unaccompanied Violin, BWV1004 – Chaconne
Piano Sonata No.3 in A minor, Op.28
Boris Giltburg (piano)
Reviewed by: Kevin Rogers
Reviewed: 20 January, 2008
Venue: Wigmore Hall, London
Schumann, by his own admission, found that the very act of creating Davidsbündlertänze (Dances of the Band of David) gave him the greatest of pleasure. It is surprising to note that they were originally published as separate pieces rather than the collection of eighteen. Clara Schumann was the private dedicatee of the work (she and Schumann had recently become secretly engaged) although she confessed to being rather baffled by it. The many, and rapid, changes of mood make the music incredibly restless. It can an assault on the mind, but the changing ideas and conflicts are what make this one of Schumann’s most idiomatic works.
The pieces do what might be expected and here lacked surprise. Giltburg’s playing displayed a high level of competence and clarity without ever giving up its inner depths. The opening was attacked then ebbed and flowed. The grander moments were fine but those sparse episodes offered less fertile ground.
Prokofiev’s single-movement Sonata No.3 from 1917 was attacked with some vigour, resulting in quieter passages that were overplayed. However, the display of gusto in the music was captivating, with fire at the close.