CLARA & ROBERT SCHUMANN
"Are Schumann’s late works the product of a household where a physically and mentally declining composer and his wife, who refused to admit that reality, were living in a stuffy atmosphere? Or was Schumann’s Düsseldorf circle a fruitful terrain that gave rise to magnificent masterpieces because these close, talented friends – Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Albert Dietrich, Johannes Brahms, and Joseph Joachim – continually inspired one another?
For this recording, Sophie and I have chosen a programme that attempts to answer those questions. All the chamber music works on this CD are from the period between 1849 and 1854, thus stemming from the Schumanns’ time in Düsseldorf.
The personal and musical connections between Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Joseph Joachim are intrinsically present in all these works. Those biographical relationships are interesting for us as interpreters because they give rise to special moods we can sense in the music. We want to fathom them, to feel them, and to make them palpable for the listener: this is one of the most exciting projects we have ever undertaken as performers.
Clara Schumann: Three Romances op.22
“You can look forward to what is about to arrive,” Johannes Brahms promised Joseph Joachim, who received a copy of Clara Schumann’s Three Romances op.22 fresh off the press in January 1856, as a belated Christmas present. Clara had composed these three pieces in the summer of 1853. Robert had always found it difficult to accept his wife’s professional success. Although he took her seriously and appreciated her comments as a competent interlocutor, he regarded her first and foremost as a housewife and as the mother of their children. He nevertheless encouraged her to compose her own works, and she was always the first to judge his.
After a long hiatus, Clara composed several works in 1853, including these three romances for violin and piano. They show her at the height of her musical inspiration: these are three pieces brimming with charm, melodic nuance, ..."
© 2021 Florian Glemser
SOPHIE WANG Violin
Sophie Wang has been shining on international musical scenes since making her debut in Festspielhaus
Baden-Baden at the age of ten. Born in 1999 in Taiwan, she received her first violin lesson at
the age of five. She studied under Rainer Kussmaul, Igor Ozim, Boris Kuschnir, Nora Chastain and
Pierre Amoyal. Currently, she studies in Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Ning Feng.
She has appeared in various concert halls such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden,
Kurhaus Baden-Baden, Festspielhaus Bregenz, Tonhalle Zurich, Stadthaus Winterthur, Shenzhen
Concert Hall and National Concert Hall Taipei. As a soloist, she performs regulary among others with
the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, Staatskapelle Weimar, Philharmonie Baden-Baden,
Philharmonie Jena, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan (NSO), Südwestdeutsche Kammerphilharmonie
Pforzheim, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Mitteldeutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Salzburg Chamber
Soloists, Russische Kammerphilharmonie St. Petersburg, Philharmonischen Solisten Stuttgart.
chamber music partners include Jana Bouskova, Florian Donderer, Elisabeth Kufferath, Gustav
Rivinius, Alexander Rudin, Edicson Ruiz, Gabriel Schwabe and Antje Weithaas.
Sophie Wang is regularly invited to music festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Kronberg, Menuhin
Festival Gstaad, Internationaler Violinfestival Junger Meister, Salzburger Kammermusikfestival. In
2016, Sophie Wang made her Debut at Spannungen Heimbach Chamber Music Festival.
Sophie Wang gained international attention since she won the first prize of International Louis Spohr
Violin Competition Weimar (2013). She has also been awarded first prize at International Violin Competition
Andrea Postacchini Fermo (2014), first prize at International Paul Hindemith Violin Competition
Berlin (2011) and first prize at International Wolfgang Marschner Competition Freiburg (2010).
Furthermore, she is winner of CHIMEI Museum & Culture Foundation Arts Award 2016 und 2017 among
other. The film The Island of 1000 Violins (ARTE 2014) tells the story of her musical life and journey.
FLORIAN GLEMSER Piano
Florian Glemser is becoming increasingly established as a widely respected concert pianist. Appearances
have led him to perform in almost all major concert halls in Germany and in Europe.
Born into a musical family, he received his first piano lessons from his mother at the age of three.
Only seven years later, he was selected to continue his musical training through a scholarship system
of Würzburg University of Music to support highly gifted pupils or students.
He made his concert
debut at the age of seven, and his orchestral debut with the Würzburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007
as the soloist in George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. This was a most convenient coincidence,
as Florian Glemser, an enthusiastic jazz fan, also made a name for himself as a jazz pianist in his
youth. He won the Soloist Prize of the Würzburg Jazz Initiative and toured throughout Europe with
a big band.
At the beginning of his studies, he finally opted for a purely classical career and had the opportunity to
win numerous international prizes as a soloist; he was granted scholarships by the German Academic
Scholarship Foundation, the Hans and Eugenia Jütting Foundation in Stendal, and the German
Foundation for Musical Life.
One of the figures who has exerted the greatest influence on Florian’s
development as an artist is professor Grigory Gruzmann, with whom he studied in Weimar.
Florian Glemser currently teaches at Detmold University of Music and at the Mittelfranken Regional
Vocational School of Music.