In 2006 the Swiss company Claves embarked on a collaboration with the Clara Haskil Competition to record all the piano music of Schumann. To date, Volumes 1 and 3, played by Finghin Collins, Vol 4 by Francesco Pietmontesi, Vols 2 and 5 and now Vol 6 all by Cédric Pescia have appeared. Pescia’s discography is already remarkably broad, ranging from Couperin and Bach up through Messiaen, Cage and Gubaidulina.
Pescia’s Kreisleriana, the centrepiece of this disc, moves boldly from one harmonic pillar to the next, lending his interpretation of this challenging work a strong sense of structural cohesion. On the other hand, his focus on the larger architectural signposts gives short shrift to Schumann’s wealth of detail and colour and, consequently, to his psychological complexity. The overall impression strikes as brusque on occasion, as well as a bit rushed. With several fine Kreislerianas of late, Nicholas Angelich leading the pack, Pescia faces some stiff competition. The Toccata is a bit on the safe side, though it may be that we’ve been spoiled by Richter’s ebullience in this piece.
In the three Sonatas for the Young, Op 118, Pescia does little to alleviate the perhaps inevitable ennui in material of such repetitious simplicity. Remarkably, it is in those works that seem not so typically Schumannesque – the two sets of Paganini Studies, the archaising Suite, Op 32, and the Four Fugues, Op 72 – that Pescia is at his most relaxed and communicative. The sound is fully dimensional and true to life.
Article's source: Gramophone (UK), March 2017 by Patrick Rucker
Others albums from this "intégrale"
Best of Cédric Pescia on Spotify
His album with Nurit Stark produced by Claves in 2015
Preorders online (download / streaming)