A new CD has been issued by Romantic Discoveries Recordings.
1. Thème varié, op. 62. Poésies – 3 Romances, op. 21: 2. Lento ma non troppo 3. Poco moderato, non troppo lento 4. Andante tranquillo. 5 Piano Pieces, op. 8: 5. Humoreske 6. Ariette 7. Menuett 8. Intermezzo 9. Walzer. 10. Thème varié et Fugato, op. 29. Scènes de bal, op. 17: 11. Gavotte-Humoresque 12. Valse lente 13. Polka rococo 14. Mazurka 15. Theme with Variations, op. 95
Russian pianist and composer Eduard Schütt was born at St Petersburg and studied there under Petersen and Theodor Stein. Between 1876-78 he studied in Leipzig, where his teachers included Salamon Jadassohn and Carl Reinecke (see earlier RDR releases), as well as Ernst Friedrich Richter. In 1879 he moved to Vienna where he became a pupil of the celebrated pedagogue Theodor Leschetizky. Between 1881-97 he was director of the Vienna Academy Wagner-Edition. In 1892, his reputation as pianist and composer firmly established, he moved to a villa he named Mon Repos in Obermais in the South Tyrol and turned to teaching in earnest. Schütt’s circle of friends included Liszt, Brahms, Heuberger and Grünfeld.
Schütt’s music includes two piano concertos, a comic opera “Signor Formica” and piano and chamber music. His preference tended to be for shorter forms or their combination in the suite rather than for extended structures. Of those compositions, only Schütt’s waltz “A la bien aimée” acquired tremendous popularity, and that work was performed and recorded by pianists of the fame of Godowsky and Harold Bauer. Occasionally other pieces found their way onto disc in the early years of the gramophone, although sadly not those which are recorded here for the first time. As well as original works, there is a number of transcriptions of waltzes by Strauss that demonstrate a glittering virtuosity.
Schütt’s three sets of variations presented here show a serious side to him, with some advanced harmonies and a confident command of the resources of the keyboard. Equally, as in his shorter works, he does not allow ideas to outstay their welcome, and varies the repetition of themes in an effective manner. Among the most attractive works here are his three Poésies, which are inward in character, and the Five Pieces, op. 8, which provide a pleasing calling-card for a young composer who quickly found his feet, and whose music still has the capacity to give great pleasure today.