Poetic scenes with Vasco Dantas – A CD review by Kai Germann
How much I loved playing with figures and miniatures as a child. Nice memories, which still trigger joy, but also melancholy. This is usually how I feel when I listen to Robert Schumann’s “ Children’s Scenes ”. These seemingly light and technically not really demanding pieces are among the most famous piano works in the world. But at the same time also among the most difficult, because they demand the full range of emotional expressiveness from a pianist. Not a few of them – including well-known artists – have already failed.
Vasco Dantas , a still very young pianist, born in Portugal in 1992, has taken up this challenge with his current recording.
“Poetic Scenes” is an album from a single source. Vasco Dantas has linked works by German composers from his home country Portugal. The pieces all have the same musical tenor, the same poetic power. Also interesting: all composers united on the Silberling were either friends with Schumann or were among his admirers.
The fact that a pianist just 28 years old has such lyrical virtuosity is actually rather rare. The exceptional talent has already won more than 50 prizes in international competitions. In 2019, he made his piano debut at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York.
After the Corona period, it will hopefully be possible to see him live again in the concert halls.
The “children’s scenes” consist of a total of 13 small compositions, of which the “reverie” is probably the best known. Schumann wrote this cycle in 1838. This jewel of musical poetry requires a special dedication and sensitivity of the pianist. Vasco Dantas manages this not exactly easy task with playful elegance. His attack testifies to an enormous spirituality at the highest level.
The so-called fados are a musical form of expression of Portuguese origin. This style is also becoming increasingly popular with us. Vasco Dantas beautifully succeeded here in No. 3 Fado, composed by Óscar da Silva (1870-1958). The piece has a rather folkloric character and sounds like a melancholy look in diaries of bygone times.
The sound of “Poetic Scenes” is beyond any doubt. The mood of these romantic pieces has been captured excellently in terms of sound technology. The Super Audio CD (which can also be played on any conventional player) is recorded using the hybrid multichannel process and should elicit a satisfied smile from even the most demanding listeners.