On November 17 2023, The Divine Art Recording label released a fabulous double CD that features the renowned German pianist Burkard Schliessmann. Called Live and Encores, this recording features the music of Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Chopin and showcases Schliesshmann’s wonderful interpretations of this music ranging from the baroque to high romanticism.

Schliesshmann has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician all over the world. He has been invited to play with orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, The WDR Radio Symphony Orchestra Cologne, and the New Westphalia Philharmonic. His recordings have been hailed by The American record Guide, the Global Music Awards and BBC Scotland. In particular his 2007 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations received critical acclaim, earning the recording the distinction of being the Record of the Year for MusicWeb International.

Live and Encores consists of two CD’s. The first CD centres around the music of Bach, and the second CD features the music of Schumann and Chopin.


Schliesshmann is very much a Bach specialist. By the age of 21 he could play Bach’s complete organ works from memory, and has played Bach’s music more than any other composer. The first disc consists of Bach’s 2nd Keyboard Partita in C minor BWV 826, The Italian Concerto and his Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor BWV 903. Mendelssohn’s Variations serieuses round out the first disc. Schliesshmann is quick to point out that Mendelssohn was responsible for reviving Bach’s music. “Bach immediately after his death had been forgotten. Mendelssohn in 1829 rediscovered Bach in a very new way and structure, and this created the new renaissance in regards to Bach’s music.”

Bach keyboard music was originally written for the harpsichord. Schliesshmann however, approaches the music of Bach as a pianist. As he explains, “It’s not my way to play on a concert grand like a harpsichordist…this is not the way…. you really have to play and ring out all the colors, all the dynamic range from the grand piano. I don’t have in my mind the sound of the harpsichord. I’m only concentrated on the concert grand.”

Taking advantage of all of the wonderful possibilities that the piano is capable of, Schliesshmann is able to make the individual voices in Bach’s music really sing. Every note is a beautiful gem, with all of these jewels interacting in perfect harmony through Schliesshmann’s marvelous interpretation.

The second CD consists of Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major op 17.  As Schliessmann says “It’s a very special composition from Schumann… it’s very explosive and intimate…the Tristan-esque world is there as well….it’s very, very challenging.”

The recording situation for Live and Encores was truly unique. It was recoded on with a beautiful, hand chosen Fazioli 278 piano on stage. “It’s a very personal instrument. I selected it in March 2023…It was a very special moment because I was transfixed by this instrument,” Says Schliessmann.

The recording session was done with people in the audience; not a concert per say, but a group of personally selected friends of Schliessmann. As he explains “In three days in April 2023 people were invited to the auditorium, and I played live in three sessions. This recording was produced in three takes…really only three opportunities to produce this project. The audience gives me special electricity for my interpretation.”

What was recorded in those three takes back in April 2023 is really, really singular. Both CDs that make up Live and Encores are well worth a listen. Schliessmann’s, playing the sound of the piano and the music all come together; making something that is a treat to listen to.

Truly remarkable!