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Robert Schumann

August 2, 2011

Finger-Twisting Schumann

Robert Schumann had a budding career as a concert pianist, until he injured his right hand from too much practicing. In today's show, the piece that might have been Schumann's undoing, his Toccata in C Major. Most pianists shy away from it because of its difficulty. Host Fred Child demonstrates what makes this piece so arduous, and we'll hear a performance by Evgeny Kissin from Verbier, Switzerland.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Leos Janacek
    Excerpts from Glagolitic Mass
    The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Kubelik, conductor
  • Robert Schumann
    Toccata in C for Piano, Op. 7
    Evgeny Kissin, piano
    Verbier Festival and Academy, Verbier, Switzerland
  • Henry Purcell
    Excerpts from Abdelazar Suite (The Moor's Revenge), Z. 570
    The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, conductor
    Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
  • Leos Janacek
    The Halle Orchestra, Mark Elder, conductor
    The BBC Proms, London, England

hour 2

  • Maurice Ravel
    Blues, from Violin Sonata in G
    Nicola Benedetti, violin, Katya Apekisheva, piano
    Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
  • Claude Debussy
    Pan's Flute, from Chansons de Bilitis
    Renee Fleming, soprano, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
  • Franz Liszt
    Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat, S. 124
    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden, conductor
    Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas
  • Antonin Dvorak
    Slavonic Dances in E Minor, Op. 72, No. 2
    Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, piano
    Minnesota Beethoven Festival, Winona, Minnesota
  • Maurice Ravel
    La Vallee des Cloches (Valley of the Bells)
    Nathaniel Rosen, cello, Doris Stevenson, piano
  • Maurice Ravel
    Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet, and String Quartet
    Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Musicians
    Alice Tully Hall, New York City
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