Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

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Grieg, Schumann & Saint-Saëns - Piano Concertos

Grieg, Schumann & Saint-Saëns - Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Saint-Saëns:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54


Howard Shelley (piano and conductor)

Orchestra of Opera North

Recently awarded an OBE for his service to music, March’s Disc of the Month sees Howard Shelley conduct the Opera North Orchestra from the piano.

In this latest recording Howard Shelley turns his attention to three popular works of the piano repertoire: Robert Schumann’s only completed Piano Concerto, Grieg’s single Piano Concerto and Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor. This authorative disc sheds new light on these well-loved works and is the first time all three piano concertos have been made available on one disc.

Shelley explains the reasons behind the new elucidations. ‘Ever since I first fell in love with the Schumann Piano Concerto in my early teens, I have been intrigued and slightly puzzled by the tradition of slowing the fourth bar of the Allegro affettuoso first movement to what is effectively no more than an Andante, even though there is no indication of any tempo shift in the score. A metronome marking of 84 to the minim, taken from Schumann’s manuscript, is given in almost all editions of this work, reducing only to 72 to the dotted minim for the central Andante expressivo section. These are extraordinarily fast basic tempos. There are similar issues in the second movement of the Schumann – a surprisingly fast metronome mark, suggesting perhaps a lighter lyricism than we are sometimes used to, especially in the big cello melody - and also in the first movement of the Saint-Seans Second Conceto, which is often taken at about half its marked speed. As for the Grieg Concerto, we are fortunate to have Percy Grainger’s very informative and detailed notes on this piece as he discussed it with the composer. Elsewhere he points out that Grieg’s tempos were generally faster than when others played the piece. These are some of the considerations which have led to the interpretations on this recording. Directing a highly responsive orchestra from the keyboard has also allowed me great freedom in realising my ideas.’

“These are intimate performances, an effect no doubt enhanced by the fact that Shelley directs from the piano. Intimately but also sharply characterised. And when virtuosity is required, Shelley provides it in spades. Technically, the Saint-Saëns is an ideal vehicle for Shelley's fingery kind of pianism and he is exceptional in the Allegro scherzando, the movement that our-Mendelssohns Mendelssohn.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2009

“…a modern version of Schumann's Piano Concerto that actually sounds like Schumann. Howard Shelley's performance is refreshingly free from empty showmanship or narcissistic 'pianism'. The Grieg and Saint-Saëns concertos are also full of lovely things, especially the slow movement coda for the Grieg - this music can touch without being the slightest bit sentimental or oversweet.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2009 *****

“What a good idea to add to that favourite among LP couplings Saint-Saëns's most Bachian concerto, No 2. And the pleasure doesn't stop there.
Howard Shelley is one of those musicians who quietly goes about his pianistic (and now conductorly) business without grabbing the limelight except for the odd award, but who is consistently impressive, unfailingly musical and only goes into the studio when he has something to say about a work. That is certainly the case here.
It's a particular delight to hear a reading odf the Schumann as fleet and joyous as this one.
These are intimate performances, an effect no doubt enhanced by the fact that Shelley directs from the piano. Intimate but also sharply characterised.
And when virtuosity is required, Shelley provides it in spades. Take the finale of the Schumann: textures are wonderfully transparent, the dotted rhythms are perky and precise, and there are plenty of striking colours from the orchestra (which throughout the disc proves itself a fine ensemble, with some particularly outstanding wind-players).
Shelley is just as persuasive in the Grieg, coaxing from the orchestra a real sense of narrative, some lovely oboe-playing and allowing the big tunes due space but never over-indulging them.
The concerto's irresistible yearning quality is well caught too, particularly in the central movement, where he is almost a match for Lipatti. Again, tempi are generally fleet, and Shelley pays attention both to the marcato marking of the finale and its folk tinges without overstatement. These are certainly performances to put alongside the classics.
Technically, the Saint-Saëns is an ideal vehicle for Shelley's fingery kind of pianism and he is exceptional in the Allegro scherzando, the movement that out-Mendelssohns Mendelssohn.
Again, the orchestra is utterly focused. The recorded quality here, as elsewhere, is exemplary.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Outstanding performances” Classic FM Magazine, February 2012

Chandos - CHAN10509

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Schumann - Piano Concerto

Schumann - Piano Concerto


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Fantasiestücke, Op. 12


Florian Henschel (piano)

The concerto for solo piano has always remained something of an enigma amongst Schumann’s piano works. Various editions of the work exist in libraries and museums around the world. The version used on this recording is taken from the original version of the autographed score now housed in the British Library. A fascinating and rarely heard work played with assured passion and dedication by Florian Henschel.

Neos Classics - NEOS30805

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Dinu Lipatti plays Grieg, Schumann & Lipatti

Dinu Lipatti plays Grieg, Schumann & Lipatti


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

rec. 1947

Philharmonia Orchestra, Alceo Galliera

Lipatti:

Concertino en style classique, Op. 3

rec. 1943

Berlin CO, Hans von Benda

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

rec. 1948

Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan


Dinu Lipatti (piano)

Opus Kura - OPK2072

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Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90, etc.

Brahms:

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Strauss, R:

Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28


Live Recording 1955

Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or - C746071B

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Schumann: Piano Concerto

Schumann: Piano Concerto


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120

Études symphoniques, Op. 13

Adagio and Allegro brilliante

(Orchestration: Peter I. Tchaikovsky)

Carnaval, Op. 9

(Excerpts)

(Orchestration: Maurice Ravel)


“This sparkling concert in the Gewandhaus is… one of the more imaginative events that last year marked the 150th anniversary of Schumann's death. The Symphony… is…proof of the rapport that Chailly has established as the orchestra's music director. The icing on the cake is the great Martha Argerich in one of her signature pieces. Throughout, her dialogue with the orchestra truly reflects the piano's role as first among equals. Not to be missed...” Gramophone Magazine, July 2007

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Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Introductory Feature + Full Concert Performance


Recorded live at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, 1-2 June 2006

“There's more virtuoso vision in Martha Argerich's Schumann… the performance glows with muscular certainty and fervour (Chailly's contribution no less inspirational).” BBC Music Magazine, March 2008 ****

“Riccardo Chailly seems wildly demonstrative by comparison. Every melodic twist and harmonic turn in this programme is reflected in his face. It's fun to watch - and, more importantly, it appears to work wonders. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra respond with an ideal blend of tonal warmth and textural clarity.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

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EuroArts - Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music - 2056068

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Great Pianists - Claudio Arrau

Great Pianists - Claudio Arrau

1939-1946 Recordings


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Recorded 4th December, 1944 in the Masonic Temple, Detroit

Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Karl Krueger

Carnaval, Op. 9

Recorded 3rd and 4th April, 1939 in EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London

Strauss, R:

Burleske for Piano and orchestra in D minor, AV85

Recorded 13th April, 1946 in Orchestra Hall, Chicago

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Désiré Defauw


The 1939 recording of Schumann’s Carnaval is one of Arrau’s finest recordings. A contemporary reviewer stated that, “This magnificent recording shows convincingly that Carnaval is one of the masterpieces of piano literature and that Arrau is a great pianist… The recording itself is of the highest quality, better far than any record previously made by Arrau, and the performance – as I ought to have made clear by now – is of supreme artistic value and completely satisfying in every respect.”

Richard Strauss’s Burleske was recorded at a morning session on 13th April 1946 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, followed immediately by Weber’s Konzertstück (Naxos 8.111263). The 1944 recording of Schumann’s Piano Concerto was recorded in one session of one hour and 45 minutes, with the first side of the second movement and both sides of the last movement done in single takes.

Naxos Historical Great Pianists - 8111265

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Walter Gieseking plays Beethoven, Debussy & Schumann

Walter Gieseking plays Beethoven, Debussy & Schumann


Bach, J S:

Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV825

Recording: Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden, 23 October 1948

Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Recording: Funkhaus, Saal 1, WDR Cologne: 14 September 1953

Joseph Keilberth

Debussy:

La plus que lente

Recording: Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden, 23 October 1948

Danse - Tarantelle styrienne

Recording: Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden, 23 October 1948

Ravel:

Jeux d'eau

Recording: Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden, 23 October 1948

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Recording: 8 January 1951

Günter Wand


Medici Masters - MM0172

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Maria João Pires - With Passion

Maria João Pires - With Passion


Chopin:

Nocturne No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1

Nocturne No. 8 in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2

Nocturne No. 15 in F minor, Op. 55 No. 1

Nocturne No. 16 in E flat major, Op. 55 No. 2

Mozart:

Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K332

Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K488

live recording

Mozarteum Orchestra, Frans Brüggen

Schubert:

Klavierstücke (3), D946

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Claudio Abbado


DG - E4776607

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Sviatoslav Richter Archives, Volume 13

Sviatoslav Richter Archives, Volume 13


Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Live Performance, Moscow, April 17, 1958

USSR State Orchestra, George Georgescu

Paganini Studien, Op. 10 (extracts)

Nos. 4, 5, 6. Live Performance, Takasaki, October 16, 1986

Märchenbilder (4), Op. 113

Live Performance, Moscow, December 13, 1985

with Yuri Bashmet (viola)

Fantasiestücke, Op. 73

3 pieces. Live Performance, Tours, July 3, 1969

with Pierre Fournier (cello)


Doremi Legendary Treasures Sviatoslav Richter Archives - DHR7892

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$13.75

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