Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze consist of a series of short tableaus inspired by “David’s Companions,” characters used throughout the composer’s writings in his music journal Neue Zeitschrift für Musik who strongly critique the traditional musical canon and laud young composers like Schubert, Chopin, and Berlioz. A patchwork of 18 sarcastic, poetic, lyric, and humorous dances, the work defies formal musical conventions, with the performer moving from one dance to another as though suspended on a string looking down at thousands of different country sides. Adam Laloum completes this perilous voyage with artistry and maturity, performing each vignette with precision, clarity, sensitivity, and subtlety.
Schubert’s Sonata in G minor, D. 984, was the favorite sonata of another pianist: Sviatoslav Richter. This work is perhaps best summed up in the word “contemplative.” Schubert exposes and then continually revisits multiple themes, with the listener discovering, recognizing, and then learning them by heart.
Adam Laloum closes his recital with Brahms’ Intermezzo No. 2, Op. 117, a fundamentally personal music infused with a deep sense of nostalgia.