Erik Schumann press reviews
“ …The young Erik Schumann also had an important share in this success. With his fine sensibility for contrasts as well as similarities between different composers, he accordingly adapted his articulation to sound emphatic, yearning, intricately woven or incandescent, at times leaving wide berth for melodic cantilena, at others permitting himself an unabashed glissando…”
Hans-Christian von Dadelsen in Südkurier, February 8, 2008
”With masterful zeal, sure-footed brilliance and with the full sound of his highly valuable instrument, he enthralled his audience with turbulent scales and suggestive cantilenas…”
Hans Rühl in the Rheinische Post, December 1, 2007
”The soloist thrilled the audience with deft artistry as well as extended melodic phrases – even the birdsong was not merely a tone painting of nature, but displayed true solo wizardry in the highest registers. Schumann’s birds warbled perfectly in tune with Vivaldi’s score…”
Helmut Weidhase in Südkurier, November 28, 2007
”Then the listeners become mesmerized as Erik Schumann starts to shine. With a violin sound that is both substantial, graceful and sophisticated, this marvelous soloist proved his great talent in the Beethoven concerto and was much applauded. Only 25 years old, he effortlessly combines the laid-back self-assurance of youth with mature earnestness, knowing very well that he has no need to show off. The kettledrum’s gentle, emphatic pulse at the beginning is judiciously taken up and transformed by Erik Schumann for the entire rest of the work. With his firm yet flexible hand, the soloist bathes that initial motif with torrents of heartfelt melodiousness – tender at times, then at others with sudden, wrenching pain. In the second movement he inspiringly withdraws into the inner realm of fantasy before nimbly, valiantly staging the finale as an adroit, witty humoresque, all the while coaxing a sound from his almost 300-year-old Stradivarius that is lighter than air, yet produced with vigorous bowing pressure.
In the cadenzas, then in encores by Kreisler and Bach, Schumann proves himself a master of chords and polyphony on the violin. You can sense the rebel in him, yet he has already attained the tranquil composure that comes with maturity. Erik Schumann stands as solid as a rock, and that is why he is able to master the music with such seeming effortlessness.”
Michael Thumser in Frankenpost, Septermber 24, 2007
Daring to tread a realm of undiscovered sonorities
”Listening to music, we sometimes close our eyes as if by reflex, dreamily isolating ourselves from our surroundings as we let the harmonies lead us into undiscovered territories. However, such a reverie is not possible in Sergey Prokofiev’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in F Minor, op.80: this particular work does not make it easy for the listener. Whatever one is led to expect does not occur: whenever there is a brief inkling of recognition, the next jolting surprise is already lurking around the corner. With this piece, violinist Erik Schumann and his partner at the piano Henri Sigfridsson offered one of the season’s true highlights with their Meisterkonzert recital in the Lutherhaus in Osnabrück.
Tensely, anxiously focusing on the piano’s lower registers, the first measures of the Andante in Prokofiev’s 1st Violin Sonata give us a foretaste of what is to come. The piano keys set the stage for a dream in which the violin, as main character, will embark on a series of exciting journeys. The first movement almost frighteningly ends on the brink of a sudden void. It clears the way, in turn, for an Allegro brusco in which the notes almost threaten to explode. The violin expresses all imaginable passion and suffering with a harsh succession of downbows – sonorous outbursts that ‘feel’ so real that you think you can actually see them, touch them.
Born in 1982 in Cologne, violinist Erik Schumann has already ascended to the podiums of the most renowned international venues. His unique sound exhibits such a multilayered variety of colors and moods that one could almost go on listening forever. Pianist Henri Sigfridsson, born in 1974 and winner of a number of prizes and awards, completes this duo with true radiance. Although any distance of communication between them seems to be utterly abolished, each of them still preserves his own individuality.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sonata in G Major KV379 served as a light, accessible opener. Its Andante cantabile does not transport the listener into other worlds, but merely to green pastures where the first step might still lead into the unknown, yet finally concludes in a happy end.
Robert Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 in A Minor op.105 speaks an entirely different language altogether. The anxious, agitated first chords already make clear that here we will not be dealing with security, but with its very opposite – that is, with contrasting emotions. Any remnant of triviality is subsequently dispelled with a series of highs and lows ranging from manifest anger to tranquil reflection. Having reached the work’s dynamic crowning point, the music then descends in a torrent that leads to a strikingly powerful conclusion – a valve through which all the sonata’s previously pent up energy is released and resolved.”
Henk, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, March 7, 2007
The soloist Erik Schumann shined at the violin concert. The 24 year old musician from Germany can express his feelings naturally and explicitly. Does he owe this to his good teacher Zakhar Bron? He obviously presents the beauty of tone in the tried and tested fashion, but the special thing about him is his refreshing style, as if he is soaring. One does not experience such a performance all too often.
Turo Yuki, Ongaku no tomo,October 31, 2006
… the soloist Erik Schumann showed himself in best form, and also the orchestra contributed to the excitement. Erik Schumann was convincing through his powerful and sensitive interpretation and through his masterful and effortless cooperation with the orchestra in perfect ensemble playing as well as in virtuoso solo-passages.
ÖA, October 25, 2006
…The soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto Nr. 4 in D major (K. 218)was Erik Schumann. The award-winning violinist performed the first movement with smooth and gleaming tone, completely integrated in the musical substance. The Andante Cantabile became a sensitive and soaring aria, and a fine and elegant tone served to support and clarify the dance-like character of the last movement. The cadenzas were remarkable for their beautiful structures. There will be a lot to hear from this talented man.
Richard Hörnicke, Wiesbaden Courier, October 24, 2006
…The soloist and orchestra presented themselves in a flowing dialogue with exact agreement in articulation and phrasing. The multiple award-winning violinist Erik Schumann, who won his first prize at 12 years of age in the competition “Jugend Musiziert”, combined technical perfection with intellectual sophistication in his performance. One could hardly wish for a better advocate for the entertainment value of Bartok’s music. A completely successful interpretation; a respectful and creative reading of the Hungarian master’s score.
Evening Post, October 24, 2006