Schumann 'Kreisleriana' and 'Etudes symphoniques'
Vlado Perlemuter is a remarkable pianist - now in his eighties he still produces performances of considerable power and authority. His very special qualities in the music of Chopin, Debussy and Ravel throw new light on the German repertory recorded here. Schumann's two great masterpieces, Kreisleriana and the Etudes symphoniques were written in the composer's twenties - a period which saw him produce most of his finest piano works. Both are outstanding examples of his highly individual poetic style which marks him out as one of the great pianist-composers of the nineteenth century.
Before Perlemuter recorded his powerful Phantasie he’d visited Wyastone to set down his Kreisleriana and Etudes symphoniques. He was 78 when he recorded the former, his technique still strong, the playing direct, powerfully conceived and conceived moreover in a concentrated arch. Never one for easy emoting, this is not necessarily the most pliant cycle one will hear, but that was never his aim. Similar virtues attend the Etudes symphoniques which avoids sentiment and bombast equally. Some may read into his playing, because of the biographical connections, vestiges of Cortot’s Schumann playing, but Perlemuter was long since his own man.
Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb-international.com