SCHUMANN G Minor Sonata, Waldszenen / Uchida 4785393

["Gesänge der Frühe"]: Uchida brings to them a profound thoughtfulness and discretion, on acute endorsement of Schumann's late style. Her accounts of the sonata and lyric pieces are new-minted and captivating.

. . . Uchida reveals more of her trademark sensitivity and unique ability to turn music into poetry. Both qualities are readily apparent in "Waldscenen" and "Gesänge der Frühe", whose natural imagery the pianist conveys with stunning vividness. Yet they also come into play in the Piano Sonata No. 2. Somehow, through this more rigorous and demanding work, Uchida finds a path that is entirely personal and expressive.

. . . nearly everything she does has its basis in what the composer set down in his scores . . . Uchida's expansive and sensitively shaded performances of Schumann's late-period "Gesänge der Frühe" capture the music's reflective lyricism . . . Clearly Uchida has processed, refined, and thought about these three Schumann works to the point where she can communicate her conceptions exactly as she wishes, and that's no small achievement.

. . . [Mitsuko Uchida] ranks among the foremost virtuosos and interpreters of Schumann . . . A resourceful colorist, Uchida certainly packs the technical equipment to perform virtually anything in the keyboard canon, and she has a great sympathy for Schumann. Clarity of line and scintillating velocity of execution add to her formidable arsenal, so devotees of Schumann will gravitate to these performances . . . [the famous "Vogel als Prophet" is] delicately poised by Uchida . . . ["Jagdlied" or "Hunting Song"]: I admire Uchida here . . . [the "Farewell"] balances poetry and meditation beautifully, an Uchida moment that justifies the admission price . . .

. . . Uchida's technique is certainly up to any challenge . . . Uchida makes a strong case for works she clearly loves . . .

Mitsuko Uchida is still a queen of her instrument: her phrasing heartfelt, her tone warm and her responsiveness to mood acute in her latest solo disc, a continuation of her exploration of Schumann. She plays with sweeping scope but, especially in the "Gesänge der Frühe" . . . incredible intimacy, too.

My top recommendation for piano solo album for 2013.

[Piano Sonata no. 2]: It's a passionate rhapsodic work, not of great distinction, but ardent. And Uchida's technique is certainly up to any challenge . . . Uchida makes a strong case for works she clearly loves . . .

Romantisch, erzählend, intelligent . . . Uchidas berühmt diffiziler Anschlag haucht den großen Miniaturen jede Menge Seelenleben ein. Spätestens in den komplex aufgebauten "Gesängen der Nacht" verwischen sich endgültig die Grenzen zwischen dem Erleben der Morgendämmerung und Schumanns vertonter Todessehnsucht. Hier liegt bestimmt keine Einspielung zum Treiben lassen, denn zum Mitdenken, vor.