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Though barely remembered now, both Salomon Jadassohn and Felix Draeseke were major figures in German musical life in the second half of the 19th century. Both began their studies at the conservative Leipzig Conservatory but after independently encountering Liszt and his work at Weimar in the 1850s both became disciples of that composer and the New German School he established. Jadassohn subsequently returned to Leipzig where he composed and had a long and distinguished teaching career, his pupils including Delius, Grieg and Busoni, while Draeseke finally ended up in Dresden teaching at the Conservatory there.
In a further paralleling of lives, both composers’ concertos were written at almost the same time—Draeseke’s sole example in 1886 and Jadassohn’s two the following year. All three are expertly crafted and feature wonderfully idiomatic piano writing, as one would expect of Liszt pupils. Stylistically they show their links both to Liszt’s single movement forms (Jadassohn 1) and also to more traditional models. While not ground-breaking these are thoroughly enjoyable examples of the genre and one must question why the Jadassohn works in particular, which have truly memorable themes, have been so completely forgotten.
We are delighted to welcome Markus Becker in his first concerto recording for Hyperion; expect more soon!
1st March 2009
“These pieces, which burst with less than memorable tunes and lashings of showy arpeggios, are played with admirable swagger by Markus Becker and are a welcome addition to Hyperion's exhaustive study of the romantic piano concerto”
“Hyperion's A-team for concertos (Andrew Keener and Simon Eadon) is on top form, while the Berlin orchestra and Michael Sanderling provide crisp support for the sparkling and industrious Markus Becker who leaves the impression not only of having an affection for the three works but also that he has been playing them all his life.”
“…an enjoyable disc for those who would explore the unfrequented byways of Romanticism.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.