New album by Caroline Oltmanns: GHOSTS

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Concert pianist Caroline Oltmanns releases the concept album GHOSTS on the Filia Mundi label. GHOSTS delves into the space between reality and imagination—a soundscape exploring inner dialogue with works by Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, and Wilding.

With a strong emphasis on the Germanic piano repertoire, Ms. Oltmanns displays a keen sense of musical storytelling in GHOSTS. The centerpiece of the album is Schumann’s Ghost Variations. This rarely heard work is one of the composer’s last works ever written before he was admitted into an institution due to his schizophrenia and attempted suicide. Ghost Variations was closely guarded thereafter for over 130 years. Only in the 1990s did a facsimile appear from the manuscript’s private owner. This explains why the work is infrequently recorded and performed, and provides the groundwork for Ms. Oltmanns’ uncommon concept album GHOSTS.

Ms. Oltmanns commissioned South African composer James Wilding to write connecting programmatic pieces depicting ghostly voices: Sphinxes, Voices, Ghost-Fantasy, and Rising Subconscious. This new music adds a touch of calculated pacing between album performances of Schumann, Chopin, and Brahms.

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