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Beyond Schumann
Robert Schumann

Michael Gees

Beyond Schumann

Price: € 14.95
Format: SACD hybrid
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917259728
Catnr: CC 72597
Release date: 08 July 2013
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2 SACD hybrid
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€ 14.95
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917259728
Catalogue number
CC 72597
Release date
08 July 2013

""Gees wants to return to the days when music yielded a unique experience, with pleasure. Whether he succeeded? You can judge for yourself but it is certain that it is incredibly exciting and communicative, with a great pianist and improviser. The beautiful piano sound does the rest ..""

www.opusklassiek.nl, 17-10-2013
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Beyond Schumann is the second solo album of Michael Gees. He thinks of a composition as a living creature. Something very unusual in classical music, where everything that is written down has become holy and sacred, not to be touched or changed at all. However, Gees does that with the utmost respect for the compositions. In his new album Beyond Schumann, Gees goes beyond the work of Schumann and gives us a new and fresh way of looking at them. This new album (SACD) will be released on May 8th during a concert in Maasmechelen (Belgium).

In Schumann's day and age improvisation on original compositions the norm. Embellishments were not always written down in detail. These days, jazz music is usually improvisational, but this is normally inappropriate in classical music. Michael Gees does not agree and does it his way, without disrespecting the original compositions. He chooses music he loves dearly, starts playing and sees what happens. The musical ideas that started with Schumann now, transform through Michael Gees' hands on the piano. They are improvised on and feel totally new and refreshed. Gees is a real pioneer in this field and he dares to take this up, this big taboo in classical music. We say praise to him for doing so. After his first solo project called 'ImproviSatie'- with improvisations on works by Satie - Gees now picks up works by Schumann and goes beyond this famous composer and gives us a new way of looking at them.

Michael Gees is a acclaimed pianist and composer/improviser. He is very well-known for his duo-partnership with Christoph Prégardien. Together they were rewarded with the MIDEM Vocal Award 2009, the MIDEM Record of the Year Award 2009, and a Supersonic Award by the Luxembourgian Pizzicato Magazine for Die Schöne Müllerin of Franz Schubert on Challenge Classics.
Improvisatie over Schumann
Beyond Schumann is het tweede soloalbum van Michael Gees. Hij ziet de compositie als een levend wezen, iets ongebruikelijks in de klassieke muziek, waarin juist de bladmuziek als vaste tekst wordt gezien. Dit was niet altijd zo: in de tijd van Schumann was improvisatie over de originele compositie de norm. Michael Gees wil de muziek weer benaderen vanuit die norm van improvisatie. De muzikale ideeën van Schumann worden zo getransformeerd door de handen van Gees op de piano, wat Schumanns bekende muziek nieuw en vers doet klinken. Gees is een pionier in deze nieuwe manier van het presenteren van Schumanns muziek en durft zo een grote taboe in de klassieke muziek te doorbreken.

Dit is het tweede grote improvisatieproject van Gees, na zijn succesvolle solodebuutalbum ImproviSatie, waarop hij improviseert over de muziek van Erik Satie. Gees is een veelgeprezen pianist die vooral bekend is van zijn duopartnerschap met tenor Christoph Prégardien.
Phantasievolle und kreative Einspielung von Schumanns Werken durch den herausragenden Pianisten Michael Gees.

Auf seinem zweiten Solo-Album spielt Michael Gees Schumanns Kreisleriana, die Kinderszenen sowie die Sinfonischen Etüden op. 13. Michael Gees ist kein Pianist für ausgetretene Pfade. Seine Beschäftigung mit Musik bringt neue Aspekte, die viele Zuhörer wach rütteln wird. Gees betrachtet eine Komposition nicht nur vom reinen Notentext aus. Er reflektiert, welche Wirkung das Stück ausübt, unter welchen Bedingungen es entstanden, gespielt und gehört wurde. Auch bezieht er in seine Überlegungen ein, dass Schubert üblicherweise keine Verzierungen notierte - Improvisation also möglich ist.

Michael Gees geht mit Schumanns Werken um, als wären sie Lebewesen, die im Wandel zu sehen sind. Der reine Notentext ist ihm zu eintönig:

"Robert Schumann und seine durch ihn hörbar gewordene Musik sind mir nah. Also habe ich es naheliegend gefunden, sie zum Ausgangspunkt kreativen Klavierspiels zu nehmen: als Anregung zum Mitdenken und als Aufforderung zur Neuerfindung dessen, was es schon gibt. In aller Ehrfurcht vor dem Werk."

Artist(s)

Michael Gees

'Throughout the evening Gees played as if he had composed the pieces himself and was therefore extremely vigilant to make sure the performance was carried out according to his inner ear. His eyes were not those of an artist intent on reproduction, but  shone rather a lambent look of passion, just as one might imagine the composer as the creator.“ N. Campogrande Michael Gees’ biography certainly justifies the term: exceptional. Few others can claim to have a career already behind them at the tender age of fifteen: Born in 1953 into a world of sound and music, both parents are singers, the piano is his favourite toy at age three. Formal piano lessons follow at age five, and the young musician subsequently goes...
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"Throughout the evening Gees played as if he had composed the pieces himself and was therefore extremely vigilant to make sure the performance was carried out according to his inner ear. His eyes were not those of an artist intent on reproduction, but shone rather a lambent look of passion, just as one might imagine the composer as the creator.“ N. Campogrande Michael Gees’ biography certainly justifies the term: exceptional. Few others can claim to have a career already behind them at the tender age of fifteen: Born in 1953 into a world of sound and music, both parents are singers, the piano is his favourite toy at age three. Formal piano lessons follow at age five, and the young musician subsequently goes on to win the Steinway Competition at age eight and receives a scholarship at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
The child prodigy is hailed as “Westphalian Mozart“, takes up studies at the conservatories in Detmold and Vienna and it seems as if he is fast on his way to become an internationally acclaimed pianist. Were it not for the gifted child’s longing to explore the world of sound on his own terms, to playfully experience his self like the great masters’ music, to invent their music all over again, note for note instead of limiting himself to a technical practice regimen. Michael Gees flees the pressure of a predetermined competitional career at the age of fifteen, leaves school, conservatory and home behind, supports himself through odd jobs, works as archeological assistant and, in the process, for the duration of two full years, becomes a sailor.
Chance leads him back to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where he resumes his compositional studies and eventually graduates. He now develops first rate pianistic chops on his own, composes a number of works, gains international renown as lied accompanist of extraordinary proportions with Christoph Prégardien and also appears in concerts globally; in Paris, London, New York and Tokio. All the while, he nurses and feeds his preference for combining the performance of music of past masters with living inspiration, thereby creating remarkable performances with his instrument.
In 1989, Gees founds “forum kunstvereint“ in his adopted hometown of Gelsenkirchen; the Consol Theater, also installed by him, opens its doors in 2001 on the confines of the former mining area Consolidation. There, music, dance and theatre projects take shape, where children, youths and adults alike are incited and encouraged to discover and realize their own artistic impulses. A steady number of CDs have been released from 1996 onward on forum kunstvereint, CPO and EMI, showcasing Michael Gees’ range.
Since 2008 Michael Gees is associated to the Netherlands label Challenge Classics. The 2009 release of the Schöne Müllerin with Christoph Prégardien won the MIDEM Classical Award and became Recording of the Year. Michael Gees works on solo-recitals which enjoy breaking with tradition, on modernized lied-renditions, melodramas and stage music.

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Composer(s)

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing. Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in...
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Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.
Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Carnaval, Symphonic Studies, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in C are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.
In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favour of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which, before her marriage, formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.
Schumann suffered from a mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to a mental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

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Press

"Gees wants to return to the days when music yielded a unique experience, with pleasure. Whether he succeeded? You can judge for yourself but it is certain that it is incredibly exciting and communicative, with a great pianist and improviser. The beautiful piano sound does the rest .."
www.opusklassiek.nl, 17-10-2013

"A very interesting composition in its own right, in which I hear the influence of, not German heirs to Schumann, but Bax"
musicweb-international, 17-10-2013

When I went back to Schumann’s unadorned originals after a day or two of Gees, I had the distinctly heretical feeling of missing something and I wished I had Gees’ music written down to play from. That misses the point of improvisation, of the inspiration of the moment, though after reading Gees’ notes, I feel encouraged to try my own improvisations. What do other classical pianists do with their own favourites in the privacy of their practice rooms, I wonder. 
Music Web International, 15-10-2013

The result is fascinating, opens adventuresome ways of listening and is a mixture of short detours and montain hiks from the original by Schumann. 
klassik.com, 23-9-2013

4 stars review  **** "The framework of Schumann's compositions always stays maintained so that the exciting dialectic arises between the known and the unknown."  
NRC Handelsblad, 03-9-2013

The German classical pianist Michael Gees lards Robert Schumann’s work with improvisations on his album ‘Beyond Schumann‘. So he moves in a way behind the compositions of this early 19th century composer.
Music Frames, 23-7-2013

"I feel like I have discovered new compositions of Schumann. The effect is that I wonder what Michael Gees' earlier released album is like"
Hifi, 14-5-2013

Play album Play album
Disc #1
01.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Thème - Andante
01:00
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
02.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude I (Variation 1) - Un poco più vivo
01:34
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
03.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude II (Variation 2) - Andante
04:00
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
04.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude III - Vivace
01:49
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
05.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude IV (Variation 3) - Allegro marcato
01:24
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
06.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude V (Variation 4) - Scherzando
01:36
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
07.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude VI (Variation 5) - Agitato
01:31
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
08.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude VII (Variation 6) - Allegro molto
01:27
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
09.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude VIII (Variation 7) - Sempre marcatissimo
02:11
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
10.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude IX - Presto possibile
02:24
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
11.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude X (Variation 8) - Allegro con energia
03:05
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
12.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude XI (Variation 9) - Andante espressivo
02:04
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
13.
Sinfonische Etüden Op. 13: Etude XII (Finale) - Allegro brillante
08:00
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
14.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Von fremden Ländern und Menschen
01:35
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
15.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Kuriose Geschichte
01:19
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
16.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Hasche-Mann
01:29
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
17.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Bittendes Kind
01:45
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
18.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Glückes genug
01:50
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
19.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Wichtige Begebenheit
01:02
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
20.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Träumerei
02:28
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
21.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Am Kamin
01:22
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
22.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Ritter vom Steckenpferd
01:54
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
23.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Fast zu ernst
02:09
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
24.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Fürchtenmachen
02:10
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
25.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Kind im Einschlummern
02:37
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
26.
Kinderszenen Op. 15: Der Dichter spricht
02:14
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees

Disc #2
01.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Äußerst bewegt, D minor
03:14
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
02.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch, B-flat major
07:12
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
03.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Sehr aufgeregt, G minor
03:09
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
04.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Sehr langsam, B-flat major/D minor
03:22
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
05.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Sehr lebhaft, G minor
04:06
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
06.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Sehr langsam, B-flat major
03:29
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
07.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Sehr rasch, C minor/E-flat major
02:22
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
08.
Kreisleriana Op. 16: Schnell und spielend, G minor
04:20
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
09.
Waldszenen Op. 82: Vogel als Prophet
09:30
(Robert Schumann) Michael Gees
show all tracks

Videos

Michael Gees - 'Beyond Schumann' - trailer
Michael Gees - 'Beyond Schumann'

Often bought together with..

Ludwig van Beethoven
Complete Piano Trios vol. 4
Van Baerle Trio
Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner
Dichterliebe Op. 48 / Lenau-Lieder und Requiem Op. 90 / Wesendonck Lieder
Christoph Prégardien / Michael Gees
Franz Schreker
Der Schatzgräber
Dutch National Opera / Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra / Marc Albrecht
Various composers
Schöne Welt, wo bist Du?
Julia Kleiter / Michael Gees
Michael Gees
ImproviSatie
Michael Gees

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