Review: Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and her sisters in works by Clara Schumann

Posted on: December 10, 2019

“A few weeks ago, in an online poll by BBC Music Magazine, Clara Schumann was voted the greatest composer of all time, beating out, among others, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and her husband, Robert,” writes Matthew Guerrieri in Saturday’s (12/7) Washington Post. “Friday’s Library of Congress concert celebrating Schumann’s 200th birthday, organized by pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, let Schumann’s music advocate for her. The argument was sound…. Piano works revealed Schumann as a quick, curious student of the latest trends…. A selection of six lieder, sung with big, filigree-gold tone by soprano Susanna Phillips, McDermott providing sympathetic accompaniment, further underlined Schumann’s craft…. To complete the portrait, McDermott was joined by her sisters [violinist Kerry McDermott and cellist Maureen McDermott] for Schumann’s chamber music…. The Op. 17 piano trio … a compact exercise in more extended forms … seems to foreshadow larger efforts that never arrived. Schumann, burdened with child-rearing while maintaining a busy concert career after Robert’s death, published only 23 works, with just a handful more emerging after she died. Perhaps a larger output might have meant a more prominent place in the canon…. Clara Schumann left us the music that she did. What she left is pretty great.”

Posted December 10, 2019