Music: Pick of the Pack

Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 12; Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6 (Murray Perahia, pianist; Columbia; $5.98). Schumann's piano music—a blend of heroic stride, demonic fantasy and impish humor—requires the age-spanning wisdom and maturity of a Richter or Rubinstein; rarely are the upstart young up to it. In this brilliant recording debut, Bronx-born Murray Perahia, 26, who last year became the first American to win Britain's Leeds International Competition, proves himself to be the rare exception to that rule. Indeed, Perahia may well take a place as the most eloquent lyric virtuoso since the days of the late...

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