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Notes on the performers
Born in Tashkent, Nafis Umerkulova started piano at the age of 5 inspired by her mother who was also a pianist. In 2004 Nafis was awarded a full scholarship to continue her musical education in the UK at the Purcell School and later at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her numerous performances in the UK feature solo, concerto and chamber music recitals in Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St Martin-
in-the-Fields, St John’s Smith Square, Glasgow City Halls, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham Symphony and Town Halls. Among various competition prizes and awards, Nafis is a prize winner of the International BRANT Piano Competition and a recipient of the Myre Hess award by Help Musicians UK.
In 2019 Nafis released her debut album “Darkness illuminated” featuring the music of Alexander Scriabin and Alexei Stanchinsky. In addition to her performance career Nafis regularly dedicates time to sharing her experience with the young generation. She is currently a member of the piano department at the Purcell School for Young Musicians and the annual Philomel Music Academy.
Sonata No. 4
Paul Henley is from Worcester and is now based in south Shropshire near Bridgnorth. Sonata No. 4 was written in 2020. Nafis performed the world premier of this work on 22 September 2023 (last week) at the Corvedale Festival
Bunte Blätter Op. 99
- Stücke I
- Stücke II
- Stücke III
- Albumblätter I
- Albumblätter II
- Albumblätter III
- Albumblätter IV
- Albumblätter V
Bunte Blätter (Colorful Leaves), Op. 99, is a collection of piano pieces by Robert Schumann assembled from earlier unpublished pieces after the success of the Album for the Young (Album für die Jugend), Op. 68. Upon publication the pieces were issued both as a complete set and individual pieces, the latter in differently coloured covers.
Robert Schumann started work on assembling the collection of pieces that were eventually published as the Bunte Blätter Op. 99 and Albumblätter Op. 124 in late 1850. His original plan was to publish the pieces as a single collection entitled Spreu (Chaff). When the music publisher F. W. Arnold objected to the proposed title, Schumann decided to split the collection.
All of the pieces used, were works that Schumann had composed in the past and had either not intended for publication, or had been rejected for publication with earlier sets of pieces. Ernst Herttrich in his preface to the Henle score, comments that the specific criteria the composer used to select the pieces included in either this collection or the succeeding one are unknown, though the pieces are organised loosely from least to most difficult. Dates of composition range from 1834 to 1849.
Novelette Op. 21, No. 8
- No. 8 in F♯ minor: Sehr lebhaft
The Novellette, Op. 21, is a set of eight pieces for solo piano, written by Robert Schumann in 1838. This composition is dedicated to Adolf von Henselt
The Novelletten were composed during February 1838, a period of great struggle for the composer. Schumann originally intended the eight pieces to be performed together as a group, though they are often performed separately. Today we hear number 8.
The concluding piece of the set is actually two pieces in one. The first part is a passionate étude in 2/4, the second has the nature of a march. It ends in D major, the principal key of the cycle.