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De Nieuwe Muze

11 July 2021

Robert Schumann / Reed Tetzloff, piano / Master Performers MP 21 001

De Nieuwe Muze

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.

Elger Niels


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