Schubert & Schumann: new CD from Roger Benedict & Simon Tedeschi

Schubert & Schumann: new CD from Roger Benedict & Simon Tedeschi
March 14, 2018 Jacqueline

A Winter’s Tale

Roger Benedict | Simon Tedeschi

(ABC Classics/ Universal Music Group)

Roger Benedict – principal viola of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra – and extraordinary pianist Simon Tedeschi present a new studio album reimagining masterpieces by Schubert and Schumann.

It was common practice in the 19th century for composers to publish their music in versions for multiple instruments, increasing their audience and appeal. Taking inspiration from this, Benedict and Tedeschi present a range of works ideally suited to the rich tone of the viola – the ‘melancholy dreamer’, as Berlioz described it.

The album opens with Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata, written for a now-obsolete six-string instrument. The sunny virtuosity of the music (increased by playing it on an instrument of four rather than six strings) is tempered by Schubert’s trademark aching melancholy.

At the heart of the album sits a suite of movements from Schubert’s Winterreise. In Benedict’s own words, “this concert suite tells a condensed version of the song cycle’s story, expressing all the desperation, false hope and final resignation as its protagonist journeys away from his doomed love affair.”
Two works by Robert Schumann, originally for violin and piano, close out the album: an ardent and wistful Intermezzo, and the characterful late Sonata Op.105.
In his 20s, Roger Benedict was appointed the principal viola of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, before leaving to devote more time to solo performance and teaching. He relocated to Australia in 2003, and is the principal viola of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Simon Tedeschi has been hailed as ‘true greatness’ (Sydney Morning Herald). He tours and performs globally at prestigious recital venues and with leading orchestras; for ABC Classics he has made acclaimed recordings of music by Gershwin, Mussorgsky, Richard Strauss and more.

The artwork for the album cover and booklet is by Loribelle Spirovski, a Sydney-based Archibald finalist.

Album available 2 February 2017 | 1CD | Digital album | ABC 481 6751


1–3. Sonata in A minor, D821 ‘Arpeggione’ for viola and piano

Eight Songs from ‘Winterreise’
Arranged for viola and piano by Roger Benedict
4. Gute Nacht (Good Night)
5. Erstarrung (Numbness)
6. Auf dem Flusse (On the Stream)
7. Irrlicht (Will-o’-the-Wisp)
8. Frühlingstraum (A Dream of Springtime)
9. Stürmischer Morgen (Stormy Morning)
10. Täuschung (Deception)
11. Der Wegweiser (The Signpost)

12. Intermezzo [from the F.A.E. Sonata] for violin and piano, WoO22
Arranged for viola and piano by Roger Benedict

13–15. Sonata for piano and violin in A minor, Op. 105
Arranged for viola and piano by Roger Benedict



“a treat indeed… [Benedict] performs a cracking arrangement of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata — a work bursting with too many wonderful tunes to be confined to its more conventional pairing of cello and piano…What we lose in low-down yearning grunt of the cello is made up for in Benedict’s tonal beauty and deft phrasing… This version will sit happily alongside my treasured recording by cello maestro Mstislav Rostropovich and Benjamin Britten”
The Daily Telegraph, February 2018


Available now: ‘A Winter’s Tale’ on the ABC Shop online