Cuban Pianist Frank Fernández Pays Due Tribute to Schumann
After honoring the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Chopin, Cuban pianist Frank Fernández pays tribute to German composer Robert Schumann, whose 200th birth anniversary is also in 2010 but the celebration has not been duly remembered.
Despite having been one of the most famous musicians of the first half of the nineteenth century, people hardly remember these days that Robert Alexander Schumann is also turning 200 years of age like Frederick Chopin, who has got plenty of tribute around the world from early this year.
The focus on one artist and the silence on the other upset Frank Fernández, one of Cuba´s most outstanding pianists ever. The media silence has astounded the maestro, who is currently recording an album with Chopin music.
“I guess it is crucial for any pianist to play most of Chopin music before they can call themselves pianists. But I am surprised and worried and do not understand why the strings have not been pulled to celebrate Schumann´s 200th anniversary,” said Fernández.
“I will honor him late this year and I´m already inviting you to my concert in December at the Amadeo Roldán theatre with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, directed by Enrique Pérez Mesa,” he said.
Fernández will play Schumann´s “Concerto in A minor for piano and orchestra,” the only one written by the composer, who was born June 8, 1810, in Zwickau, Germany.
The concert was world premiered in 1846 in Leipzig by Clara Wieck, the musician´s wife, who was a "child prodigy" at the piano and is actually considered the most important pianist of the nineteenth century. After his death at 46, she devoted her efforts to promote Schumann´s work in Europe.
On the other hand, Chopin died at 39. Both composers created new aesthetic parameters in their music and both had very stormy lives.
Schumann, who was identified with both literature and music from an early stage, expressed his admiration for Frederick, whom he considered a genius. He founded and directed a magazine where he published his harsh music criticism.
He was considered a bizarre person for talking about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Carl Maria von Weber as great composers at a time when they were seen as figures of lesser stature.
His essays deal with the virtuosity of Chopin and some contemporary talents such as Johannes Brahms, of whom it is said he was a discoverer.
Chopin became an unsurpassed pianist. Schumann was consumed by the obsession of reaching higher virtuosity levels, but his efforts to improve his piano techniques caused a serious injury to his right hand that made him quit that dream.
Then, he devoted himself to creation. In fact, critics label him along with Chopin as one of the leading composers and pianists in the history of classical music.