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The impassioned opening to the Third Sonata sets the stall for this outstanding Schumann recital. Bavouzet has already proven himself over a wide repertoire; his Schumann is equally insightful, resonating with the composer’s deeply personal, expressive world. The third movement of the sonata is a set of variations on a theme by Clara, performed with the utmost tenderness and fantasy. There is a cumulative dimension to the finale, too, where tension sparkles like light on water.

Faschingsschwank aus Wien has much life to it, Bavouzet relishing those sudden turns so characteristic of Schumann, contrasting with the splendidly enigmatic late Fantasiestücke Op 111.

The rarely-heard gem Gesänge der Frühe (Songs of Dawn) Op 133, a piece championed in modern times by Anderszewski, was composed on the cusp of Schumann’s breakdown. Bavouzet’s tormented interpretation seems to strive constantly for an elusive, renewed vigour. Bavouzet, at the top of his game, remains a force to be reckoned with.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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