Andor Földes plays Schumann "Aufschwung", op.12 no.2


Schumann's Fantasiestücke, op.12, are eight pieces for piano, written in 1837. Schumann titled the work inspired by the 1814 collection of novellas "Fantasiestücke in Callots Manier" by his favourite author, E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, 1776 - 1822, German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist; he is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous opera "The Tales of Hoffmann"; the author of the novelette "The Nutcracker" and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based). Op.12 is dedicated to Fräulein Anna Robena Laidlaw (1819 - 1901), an accomplished and attractive 18-year old Scottish pianist with whom Schumann had carried on a brief flirtation. Schumann composed the pieces with the characters Florestan and Eusebius in mind, representing the duality of his personality. Eusebius depicts the dreamer in Schumann while Florestan represents his passionate side. These two characters parlay with one another throughout the collection. Schumann conceived of "Aufschwung" as a depiction of the character Florestan indulging in his desires. ~ "Biography / Obituary" from NY Times on February 19, 1992: Andor Foldes, a Hungarian-born American pianist who was closely associated with the music of Bela Bartok and who was also a respected interpreter of the Viennese Classical composers, died at his home in Herrliberg, Switzerland, on Feb. 9. He was 78 years old. He died after falling down a flight of stairs, said his wife, Lili Rendy Foldes. Mrs. Foldes said her husband had been preparing for a performance and an eight-day master class at the Beethoven house in Bonn. Mr. Foldes was born in Budapest on Dec. 21, 1913, and began his studies privately with his mother, Valerie Ipolye, and with Tibor Szatmari. He made his public debut performing a Mozart concerto with the Budapest Philharmonic when he was 8 years old. The next year he entered the Budapest Academy of Music to study the piano, composition and conducting, but he continued to perform publicly. During his student years, Mr. Foldes worked with several important Hungarian composers, among them Ernst von Dohnanyi, with whom he studied until 1932, and Bartok, whom he met in 1929. Bartok's music became a central part of his repertory. He gave the New York premiere of Bartok's Second Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall in 1947. His 1948 recording of the work, prized by collectors, was recently reissued on compact disk, as was a set of Bartok works he recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, which won the Grand Prix du Disques and other prizes. Mr. Foldes made his American orchestral debut in a radio concert in 1940 and his recital debut at Town Hall in 1941. He met his wife, a Hungarian journalist, in New York, and they became American citizens. In the 1950's, when Mr. Foldes's European concert engagements were more plentiful than his American ones, he and his wife moved to Europe, settling in Switzerland in 1961. Besides a large discography, which includes not only the Bartok recordings but also works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Falla, Debussy, Poulenc, Liszt, Schubert and Rachmaninoff, Mr. Foldes was the author of "Keys to the Keyboard" (1948). Among his awards are the Grand Cross of Merit, given by Germany in 1959 for his help in raising money to have the Beethoven Halle in Bonn rebuilt, and the Silver Medal of the City of Paris, given in 1969. Besides his wife, there are no immediate survivors. ~~~

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