These works were written in the last three years of Schumann's life, and it was a stroke of ill luck that the Violin Concerto in D Minor was completed in 1854 just as Schumann succumbed to mental illness. Baiba Skride now offers her performer’s perspective on Schumann’s violin oeuvre by recording not just the Violin Concerto but also the 'Phantasie' Op. 131 and the Concerto in A Minor Op. 129. The last of these is an arrangement for violin of Schumann’s Cello Concerto that the composer himself made for Joachim. During Schumann’s own lifetime it was the 'Phantasie' that had most recognition with its rhythmic vigour and highly virtuosic cadenza. Baiba Skride’s rapport here with the conductor John Storgårds (a former violinist) and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, one of the great European orchestras in Romantic repertoire, offers an ideal combination that is ideal for Schumann.
“Skride is their ideal exponent...The beauty of this disc is that Skride, Storgards and the excellent Danish orchestra make the music sound utterly new, so that even if you own one or more of the [other recordings] you still stand to learn a great deal from listening to it.” Gramophone
“[the Concerto] has a slow movement of otherworldly beauty… Baiba Skride negotiates it admirably… her silky pianissimo playing in the Violin Concerto is a decided asset. It’s a valuable and enterprising disc.” BBC Music Magazine
“From the opening tutti of the D minor concertos, Skride and Storgards unite to give a powerful, richly romantic view of Schumann’s works for violin and orchestra. Skride plays with impressive depth of tone and beauty of sound” Classical Music