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Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870)

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Moscheles & Hummel - Cello Sonatas

Moscheles & Hummel - Cello Sonatas


Hummel, J:

Cello Sonata in A major, Op. 104

Moscheles:

Cello Sonata in E major Op. 121

Nos 4, 8 & 9 from Melodisch-contrapunktische Studien Op. 137


Jirí Bárta (cello) & Hamish Milne (piano)

“Bárta and Milne strike just the right note: these aren’t bravura pieces, and they play them as would two friends convivially making music in the drawing-room and deriving unemphatic pleasure from the experience … a delightfully demure, teasingly tuneful release, which has brought me much pleasure” International Record Review

“With such strong, sympathetic playing and clear, carefully-balanced recordings this Hyperion disc is a must for adventurous cellists and listeners alike” BBC Music Magazine

“Hummel and Moscheles make an apt pair: each was a keyboard virtuoso who wrote prolifically.
Yet where Hummel has been well represented on disc lately, Moscheles is far more neglected.
That makes the new issue specially valuable.
Their careers overlapped, but Moscheles lived for 33 years more after Hummel died, actively composing till the last. The works here appeared some three decades apart – not that the stylistic contrast is at all marked, for both adopted an easily lyrical style celebrating the early 19th rather than the 18th century, with Mendelssohn more of an influence than Mozart.
This is particularly so in Moscheles's Cello Sonata of 1850-51, with one or two echoes of the Mendelssohn Octet and with a Scherzo marked ballabile, sparkling in the way one expects of Mendelssohn. The younger composer, a close friend, also influenced Moscheles in his devotion to Bach, represented here by the three Melodic-Contrapuntal Studies, involving flowing melodic writing for the cello neatly fitted to Bach's original keyboard Preludes.
Following tradition, Moscheles gives priority to the piano over the cello in describing the work, not surprising from a pianist-composer, and this recording rather brings that out; the sensitive cellist, Jirí Bárta, is regularly overshadowed.
What is more unexpected is how the last two movements echo Czech music, not just in the rhythms and melodic shapes of some of the themes but in the alternation of speeds; that suggests that Moscheles was influenced by the Czech dumka. The Sonata is rounded off with a dashing movement in which Moscheles encourages the pianist to show off in several passages.
Otherwise this is a work designed for intimate music-making, and that is even more clearly so in the Hummel Sonata, which opens with a tripletime Allegro amabile. 'Amiable' is an apt description of the piece, not just in that lyrical first movement but the central Romanze which is rather like early Beethoven. Here, too, there are echoes of the music of eastern Europe in the finale, maybe influenced by Hummel's tours of Russia and Poland.
Though it is a pity that Bárta is not presented as a full equal to Milne (who plays brilliantly), the recording balance is largely to blame. An attractive disc nonetheless.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Moscheles: Complete Concert Studies

Moscheles: Complete Concert Studies


Moscheles:

Charakterische Studien Op. 95

Deux Études Op. 98

Deux Études Op. 105

Quatre grades études de concert Op. 111

Grande étude de concert Op. 126


Piers Lane (piano)

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Moscheles: Complete Concert Studies

Moscheles: Complete Concert Studies


Moscheles:

Charakterische Studien Op. 95

Deux Études Op. 98

Deux Études Op. 105

Quatre grades études de concert Op. 111

Grande étude de concert Op. 126


Piers Lane (piano)

Given Moscheles contemporary fame it is surprising how much his reputation has faded. He bridged the gap between the Classical and Romantic movements and, though a fine pianist and a sincere and skilled craftsman as a composer, his downfall was surely that his transitional idiom was quickly overshadowed by the Titans of the new Romantic movement such as Chopin, Schumann and Liszt. None of this need concern us now—his music has its own worth, as our recordings of his concertos have shown.

Piers Lane does his customary magnificent job in presenting these studies, most of which are premiere recordings.

“Lane is the kind of pianist who can make anything sound good. His formidable technique is evident from the opening étude … it is all the better that this recording is engineered well and we have a fine instrument” American Record Guide

“Graceful, fluent and engagingly affectionate performances” Gramophone Magazine

“Piers Lane’s concern is to underline the unexpected meatiness of the piano writing, and he offers lusty, swaggering performances … it’s a revelatory recording” International Piano

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 29 - Moscheles

The Romantic Piano Concerto 29 - Moscheles


Moscheles:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 56

Piano Concerto No. 3 in G minor, Op. 58

Anticipations of Scotland: A Grand Fantasia Op. 75


‘Very agreeable music of the Romantic era, well constructed and melodious. Highly recommended’ (International Record Review)

“Both the Second and Third Concertos bristle with enough savage jumps and hurdles to throw a less than first class performer; woe betide the pianist without flawless scales and arpeggios (often twisting into awkward and unpredictable patterns). Moscheles' contemporaries, hungry for heart-stopping acrobatics, surely left the concert hall thrilled and gratified. But there are also many fascinating purely musical surprises.
Most engagingly, Moscheles was highly responsive to local colour, paying tribute to his adopted city of London in his Fourth Concerto by quoting the 'March of the Grenadiers' and, in his Anticipations of Scotland: A Grand Fantasia, to folk songs and dances north of the border. Who can resist the assurance of 'Auld Robin Grey' (though even he breaks out into a flash of virtuosity) or a strathspey sufficiently perky to set all true Scotsmen's blood tingling.
The recordings, made in Tasmania, are excellent, and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra enter into the spirit of things with verve and affection. In short, a disc of aristocratic brilliance and distinction.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 32 - Moscheles

The Romantic Piano Concerto 32 - Moscheles


Moscheles:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 45

Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat 'Fantastique', Op. 90

Piano Concerto No. 7 in C minor 'Pathétique', Op. 93


‘Shelley’s expertise, his immaculate charm and brio cast a brilliant light on every page … an exemplary issue’ (Gramophone)

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 36 - Moscheles

The Romantic Piano Concerto 36 - Moscheles


Moscheles:

Piano Concerto No. 4 in E major, Op. 64

Piano Concerto No. 5 in C major, Op. 87

Recollections of Ireland


‘All in all, if you’re curious about this repertoire, I’d recommend you turn to the Hyperion series’ (Fanfare, USA)

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