Album: Schumann, Geistervariationen – András Schiff (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

Though in chronological order, Schiff's exquisite double-disc recital takes its title from the Ghost Variations of 1854, composed to a theme dictated by angels in the hallucinatory days before Schumann threw himself into the Rhine. Schiff is too subtle a musician to allow a single thesis to dominate.

Yet the fine line between dream and delusion can be felt elsewhere, not least the C major Fantasy, played here in the Budapest edition, with Schumann's more familiar revision an appendix.