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Allegro molto in C minor; Notturno in G minor; Piano Sonata in C minor:
Allegro moderato e con espressione; Andante con moto; Finale: Presto;
Lied in E flat major; Piano Sonata in G minor: Allegro molto agitato; Scherzo; Adagio; Finale: Presto;
Adagio in E flat major; Andante con moto in E major; Sonata o Capriccio; Allegro molto agitato in D minor; Schluss

Heather Schmidt

Naxos 8570825

This disc is a belated and worthy latter-day corrective to the scandalous neglect of 19th C women composers including Schumann's Clara and Mendelssohn's beloved sister Fanny (1805–1847).

Most of Fanny's five hundred or so compositions remained unpublished during her lifetime; this labour of reparation confirms their value.

Heather Schmidt is a modern all-round Canadian musician, successful as pianist, prolific composer in a general-purposes idiom (six piano concertos), and for tackling performance anxiety with her foundation the "Optimal Music Performance Institute"...

This volume of piano music spans Fanny's composing life from youthful experiments to her last year, including two sonatas that would be more than welcome in piano recitals.

Her playing is adequate if not all that imaginative (hear excerpts on Heather's website). She could give more thought to voicing of the chords and counterpoint; in more strenuous passages towards climaxes it all becomes rather generalised, but is good enough to show what would be the music's potential under the hands of a more subtle pianist.

At Naxos budget pricing, well worth investigating, especially for a pianist looking to broaden his repertoire...

Peter Grahame Woolf