David Theodor Schmidt: “The Poet Speaks”
The new CD (Profil PH 12071) takes its title from The Poet Speaks, the last piece of Schumann’s Pieces of Childhood. And indeed, this recording shows Schmidt as a poet in two senses: first, because he has chosen works inspired by poetry (Franz Liszt’s Three sonnets of Petrarch, four Ballades by Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann’s Sonata No. 2 in G Minor and last Piece of Childhood); and second, because the young musician plays these works so sensitively that he can be truly called a “poet of the piano”.
Unlike Schumann, who died in 1856, too early to enjoy the excellent grand pianos made by Carl Bechstein, Liszt and Brahms were great admirers of the German piano-maker who founded his business in Berlin in 1853.
For his new CD — masterfully recorded by Holger Sieder in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin-Dahlem — Schmidt chose a C. Bechstein D 232 concert grand, which was marvellously tuned by Torben Garlin. Thanks to such excellent recording conditions, the instrument is shown to its fullest advantage and the CD perfectly renders the Bechstein’s rich, clear and colourful voice. With this recording, David Theodor Schmidt demonstrates anew his ability to design wonderful singing lines, to lead us through the melancholic and contemplative universe of Romantic music, and to make his Bechstein sing, even in the most tumultuous phrases of Schumann’s sonatas. A masterpiece!