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Schumann: Piano Works, Vol. 1 - van Poucke

Schumann: Piano Works, Vol. 1 - van Poucke

trptk  TTK0055

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental


Schumann: Carnaval, Fantasiestücke, Arabeske

Nicholas van Poucke (piano)


After two highly successful solo albums, pianist Nicolas van Poucke set to record a collection of his favorite works by Robert Schumann (1810-1856). The Schumann Collection, Vol. 1 is the first album in that series, and features Carnaval, Op. 9, Fantasiestücke, Op. 12, and as icing on the cake, Arabeske, Op. 18.

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Review by Adrian Quanjer - March 14, 2021

Is it fair to say that the best recordings are made by people who love music and want to do it the way they would like to have it for themselves? TRPTK’s quality statement: “No costs or efforts are spared to seize that magical moment in which music is being created, and bring it home to you in the highest quality”, is not just a PR matter. It is real. Listen to this new release by Dutch Wonder Pianist, Nicolas Van Poucke. He is more than a great pianist. He is a natural talent able to enthral an audience.

There are many great pianists and numerous are their recordings of Schumann’s piano legacy. But however good they are, few are able to captivate an audience to the point where one loses any sense of place and time. Just the music. This is what happened to me. I had never heard of Nicolas before, but once hooked I couldn’t stop listening. He opens, as it were, the door to the enchanting world of Schumann, taking the listener by the hand to discover parts you didn’t think existed. How? I believe it has all to do with his ability to phrasing, colouring, and shading the score to allow the listener to ‘see’ what must have moved the creative spirit of Robert Schumann. It is not just about technique, it is the undefinable and undeniable gift of a true artist to translate the programmes attached to Carnaval and Fantasiestücke into an intelligible vision for the listener.

With a very personal account of Arabesque van Poecke concludes his recital, saying in the liner notes: “If you … don’t want to end up being the one out of many, you really need to add something to it”. To which I say: “Perfectionism is one thing, natural talent adds another”. Never afraid of doing the unexpected, keeping the listener on edge, that is how Nicolas van Poucke distinguishes himself from the crowd in this first volume of “The Schumann Collection”. I cannot wait for the rest to follow.

Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France

Copyright © 2021 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net

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Comment by Adrian Quanjer - March 14, 2021 (1 of 2)

Because of mistakes in the database, I cannot give stars for surround. The recording was released in the Netherlands in November 2020 and is available at Bol.com (SACD multi-channel) and downloadable elsewhere in the highest possible resolution. And the name of the artist is not van Pook, but van Poucke.

Comment by Desertpilot - March 14, 2021 (2 of 2)

Adrian, thank you for this review. The Schumann Piano Works is available on Native DSD in multichannel and the usual variety of DSD sample rates. I went ahead and purchased the album both because of this wonderful music and my desire to support artists during the pandemic. There is an insightful "interview" between TRPTK’s Brendon Heinst and Pianist Nicolas van Poucke. Personally, I find recorded piano music difficult to emotionally connect. Live it's easy for me but recorded not so much. I don't know why but I hope this album will be a breakthrough for me given the beauty of the music and apparently the quality of the performance/recording. Up until now, I've been focused on connecting with stringed instruments, especially solo violin. Now it's time for me to improve my musical tastes with Piano. Thank you again for this review.

Marcus DiBenedetto
Las Vegas, NV