De Nieuwe Muze
11 July 2021
Robert Schumann / Reed Tetzloff, piano / Master Performers MP 21 001
It has been several years since I was able to report enthusiastically for De Nieuwe Muze about a solo recital that the American pianist Reed Tetzloff gave in a salon in Ghent. I recently received a recording of his – exclusively devoted to music by the young Robert Schumann – which is currently available as a digital download.
The young virtuoso has done himself a favor by focusing on two of the ambitious concert works – Carnaval opus 9 and the Grande Sonata opus 11. His great sound and broad rhetoric suit a large hall by far the best. Not that there is a lack of nuance or relief within it – rather, Tetzloff projects his play onto the galleries, far beyond the front rows.
The theatrical imagination of Carnival or the passionate gesture of the Grande Sonata lend themselves to such a performance. Both interpretations are impeccably realized and recited in a coherent manner. Tetzloff won't leave phrases in the air – unless the music explicitly asks for it. As a listener, I would like to sit a little further in the back of the room than the microphone placement allows. After all, dynamic, solid piano playing also does something to room acoustics. With insufficient admixture of this – as in the Scherzo from the Grande Sonata – the sound image becomes somewhat flattened. In spite of that, you certainly hear a warm lyricism, especially when Tetzloff addresses the baritone register, or in the Arabesque opus 18, mostly presented in smaller, muted tones.
In short, anyone who, with some imagination, knows how to switch to the back rows can enjoy a robust and impassioned speech here that fits the great actor into Schumann. Intimacy seems less represented, but when it does speak, it brings with it a sacred silence – as in Aveu or Eusebius from Carnival opus 9 and certainly in the beloved Romanze opus 28 no. 2 in which the baritone again sings.