living the classical life
Living the Classical Life is an ongoing series of filmed interviews
and intimate, one-of-a-kind performances hosted by pianist Zsolt Bognár.
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.
Award-winning, Estonian photographer Kaupo Kikkas captured shadowy images of Ms. Oltmanns reflecting the essence of this album.
Pianist: Caroline Oltmanns
Recording Engineer: Udo Wüstendörfer
Piano: Steinway & Sons, Hamburg
Recording Venue: Reitstadel in Neumarkt, Germany
Label: Filia Mundi Records
Distribution: Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby
Photography: Kaupo Kikkas
Watch these videos to delve deeper
into this concept album
Learn about the album production for GHOSTS.
Listen to the story behind Robert Schumann's Ghost Variations!
Learn how repertoire was chosen for this album.