Medtner: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'

This page lists all recordings of Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade', by Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951) on CD, SACD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Medtner plays Medtner Volume 2

Medtner plays Medtner Volume 2

Archive recordings of the 1940s


Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 33

Philharmonia Orchestra, George Weldon

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 50

Philharmonia Orchestra, Issay Dobrowen

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'

Philharmonia Orchestra, Issay Dobrowen

Sonata-Ballada in F sharp major, Op. 27


“There’s hardly another composer who would take a more solitary place in the family of Russian musicians” wrote Medtner’s contemporary and music critic Vyacheslav Karatygin.

Medtner was born to a family of intellectuals of German descent who had long before settled in Russia. Even after three decades of emigration, he remained an essentially Russian musician till the end of his days. If Medtner’s music could not boast a great number of followers, it irrepressibly attracted such deep and subtle, though very different, artists as Rachmaninov and Myaskovsky.

Medtner’s music organically combined traditions of German and Russian music. Along with Rachmaninov and Scriabin, Medtner was an outstanding interpreter of his own works and one of those who started a new era of Russian piano music.

According to the prominent musician, pianist and thinker Heinrich Neuhaus, Medtner as a pianist “won himself an unfading glory… I couldn’t help feeling that it wasn’t just a marvelous pianist playing but a great musician, excellent composer, that his thought and ear had a total control of his fingers and his phenomenal virtuosity, and that it was an inspired pianism”.

This second volume of the anthology includes three Medtner’s piano concertos recorded in the 1940s in London (the second and third ones were conducted by Issay Dobrowen, one of the renowned representatives of Russian musical emigration). The set also features one of the most original of the composer’s works – Sonata-Ballade, Op.27.

Melodiya - MELCD1002274

(CD - 2 discs)

$20.25

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Scriabin & Medtner: Piano Concertos

Scriabin & Medtner: Piano Concertos


Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'

Scriabin:

Piano Concerto in F sharp minor, Op. 20


Sudbin’s recordings of Medtner’s first and second piano concertos (BIS1588 and BIS1728) were widely admired, with the first disc nominated for a Gramophone Award and the second being dubbed an “Essential Recording” in BBC Music Magazine.

His recordings of Scriabin have similarly garnered universal acclaim. The liner notes, written by Sudbin, state with conviction that both concertos are “absolute masterworks – unjustly underperformed and constantly underappreciated”.

With great empathy for, and insights into each composer. Yevgeny Sudbin takes on the great challenges – musical as well as technical – posed by the two works, with the eminent support of the Bergen Philharmonic and their chief conductor Andrew Litton.

“Sudbin is wonderfully dashing in the Scriabin, where the rapturous, refined playing of the Bergen Philharmonic under Andrew Litton also really comes into its own, especially in the finale, but he makes heavier weather of the much darker, almost gruff Medtner; the performance never really takes wing” The Guardian, 8th January 2015 ***

“In Litton and the Bergen orchestra, Sudbin has found like-minded partners who are willing to follow him in the music’s liquid flow, and the result is a performance that is an exultantly truthful tribute to Scriabin’s individuality.” The Telegraph, 18th January 2015 *****

“These are superb performances of two underestimated concertos...this is unquestionably an engaging account, Sudbin's glistening and expressive virtuosity matched by Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic's idiomatic playing...Even more revelatory is their performance of Medtner's Third...[Sudbin] seems alert to its every note and creates a compelling journey.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2015 *****

“In the Scriabin Concerto, Sudbin displays formidable technical virtuosity, in a performance contrasting emotional intensity with melancholy and tranquillity...I cannot understand why this melodious concerto is not taken up by more pianists...On the evidence here, there is no doubt in my mind that Sudbin’s discographical legacy is going from strength to strength.” MusicWeb International, 13th February 2015

“Sudbin has found in Andrew Litton a wonderful comrade-in-arms and the characterisation offered by his Bergen Philharmonic is one of the pleasures of this recording. The interplay between pianist and orchestra is unfailingly chamber-musical and reactive.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - February 2015

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Up to 25% off BIS

BIS - BIS2088

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 2 - Medtner

The Romantic Piano Concerto 2 - Medtner


Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 50

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'


“This splendid disc is given a fine recording, good orchestral playing from a Scottish orchestra under a Polish conductor and, above all, truly coruscating and poetic playing from the brilliant young Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko. Medtner was a contemporary and friend of Rachmaninov; he settled in Britain in the 1930s, and like Rachmaninov he was an excellent pianist. But while the other composer became immensely popular, Medtner languished in obscurity, regarded as an inferior imitation of Rachmaninov who wrote gushing music that was strong on gestures but weak on substance. The fact is that he can be diffuse (not to say long-winded) and grandiose, and memorable tunes are in short supply, so that his music needs to be played well to come off.
When it is, there's much to enjoy, as here in Demidenko's hypnotically fiery and articulate accounts.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA66580

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$14.50

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Medtner: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 50, etc.

Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 50

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'

3 Arabesques, Op. 7

Skazki (Fairy Tales), Op. 26


Nicolas Medtner

Philharmonia Orchestra, Issay Dobrowen

“The strong Russian flavour of the ornate writing is evident, as is the composer's masterly understanding of the piano. Listening to the composer himself in the Second's first molto cantabile atempo, ma expressivo or the Third's dolce cantabile is to be made doubly aware of his haunting and bittersweet lyricism. The streaming figuration in the Second Concerto's Romanza is spun off with deceptive ease, a reminder that while Medtner despised obvious pyrotechnics he was a superb pianist. Two exquisitely played encores are included (the ambiguous poetry of the A minor Arabesque could be by no other composer), and the 1947 recordings have been superbly remastered.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Testament - SBT1027

(CD)

$13.25

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Nikolai Medtner - The Piano Concertos

Nikolai Medtner - The Piano Concertos


Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 33

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 50

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'

Sonata-Ballada in F sharp major, Op. 27


Chandos 241 - CHAN241-25

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.50

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Medtner - The Three Piano Concertos

Medtner - The Three Piano Concertos


Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 33

Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 22

Sonata reminiscenza in A minor, Op. 38 No. 1

Sonata tragica in C minor, Op. 39 No. 5

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 50

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'


Geoffrey Douglas Madge (piano)

Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra, Ilya Stupel

Up to 25% off BIS

BIS - BISCD1258

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $14.50

Special: $11.60

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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 5


Balakirev:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat major

Michael Ponti

Goetz:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op 18

Michael Ponti

Lyapunov:

Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes, Op. 28

Michael Ponti

Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'

Michael Ponti

Sinding:

Piano Concerto in D flat major, Op. 6

Roland Keller


Vox - CDX5068

(CD - 2 discs)

$11.00

Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.

Medtner - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3

Medtner - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3


Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 33

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'


“Naxos completes its Medtner concerto cycle with Scherbakov. To have such Romantic richness – once the province of specialists – offered on a bargain label is cause for celebration in itself; to have it performed and recorded with such tireless commitment is a double blessing.
That said, the performances on the first disc suffered from the soloist's poetic parsimony and an oppressive ill balance from Naxos. But this second disc is successful on all counts. Scherbakov, praised by Richter and recently hailed as a 'modern Rachmaninov', is now more attuned to Medtner's widely fluctuating idiom, complementing his virtuosity with inwardness and conviction. Sample the passage beginning at 6'30" in the Third Concerto's finale and you'll hear the sort of eloquence that warms the hearts of all true Russians.
Commissioned by Moiseiwitsch, an early and courageous champion of Medtner, the Third Concerto, subtitled 'Ballade', flows like some primeval river of the imagination, its burgeoning course inspired by Lermontov's WaterSpirit, while the First Concerto's often epic gestures blend a bittersweet Russian Romanticism with themes of an almost Elgarian cut. Scherbakov's agility at, say, the con moto (8'38") is never at the expense of a composer whose bravura is always poetically motivated. Lovers of Romantic piano concertos need look no further.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Scherbakov, praised by Richter and recently hailed as a 'modern Rachmaninov', is now more attuned to Medtner's widely flunctuating idion, complementing his unquestioned virtuosity with inwardness and conviction… you will hear the sort of eloquence that warms the hearts of all true Russians.” Gramophone Magazine

Naxos - 8553359

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$7.00

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Romantic Piano Concertos

Romantic Piano Concertos


Albéniz:

Piano Concerto No. 1 (Concerto fantastico), Op. 78

Felicja Blumental (piano)

RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Alberto Zedda

Albert, E:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E major, Op. 12

Michael Ponti (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Alkan:

Concerto da Camera in C sharp minor Op. 10 No. 2

Michael Ponti (piano)

Southwest German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim, Paul Angerer

Arensky:

Piano Concerto in F minor, Op. 2

Maria Littauer (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Jörg Faerber

Balakirev:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat major

Michael Ponti (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

Barber:

Piano Concerto Op. 38

Abbott Ruskin (piano)

Abbott Ruskin piano M.I.T. Symphony Orchestra, David Epstein

Beach, A:

Piano Concerto, Op. 45

Mary Louise Boehm (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

Beethoven:

Piano Concerto in E flat major, WoO 4

Martin Galling (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Carl-August Bünte

Piano Concerto in D major, arranged by the composer after the Violin Concerto, Op. 61a

Shoko Sugitani (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Oskamp

Rondo for Piano & Orchestra in B flat major, WoO 6

Walter Klien (piano)

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jerzy Semkow

Berwald:

Piano Concerto in D major

Michael Ponti (piano)

Southwest German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim, Paul Angerer

Bronsart:

Piano Concerto in F sharp minor, Op. 10

Michael Ponti (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Kapp

Busoni:

Piano Concerto Op. 31a

Frank Glazer (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Carl-August Bünte

Casella:

Scarlattiana, Op. 44

Paolo Restani (piano)

Philharmonic Teatro Regio Torino, Marzio Conti

Triple Concerto, Op. 56

Paolo Restani (piano), Stefano Vagnarelli (violin), Relja Lukic (cello)

Philharmonic Teatro Regio Torino, Marzio Conti

A notte alta for piano and orchestra, Op. 30bis

Paolo Restani (piano)

Philharmonic Teatro Regio Torino, Marzio Conti

Chopin:

Allegro de Concert in A major Op. 46

Michael Ponti (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach

Variations on Mozart's 'La ci darem la mano' in B flat major, Op. 2

Abbey Simon (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Heribert Beissel

Clementi:

Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 33, No. 3

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Prague New Chamber Orchestra, Alberto Zedda

Cramer, J B:

Piano Concerto No. 5 in C minor, Op. 48

Akiko Sagara (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Czerny:

Divertissement de Concert, Op. 204

Michael Ponti (piano)

Southwest German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim, Paul Angerer

Debussy:

Fantasie for piano and orchestra

Marylène Dosse (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Dohnányi:

Variations on a Nursery Tune, Op. 25

Béla Síki (piano)

Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Milton Katims

Dvorak:

Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33

Peter Frankl (piano)

Bamberg Symphony, János Fürst

Field:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major, H31

Rena Kyriakou (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Carl-August Bünte

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, H29

Paolo Restani (piano)

Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, Marco Guidarini

Piano Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, H28

Paolo Restani (piano)

Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, Marco Guidarini

Piano Concerto No. 5 in C major, 'L'incendie par l'orage', H39

Paolo Restani (piano)

Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, Marco Guidarini

Piano Concerto No. 6 in C major, H49

Paolo Restani (piano)

Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, Marco Guidarini

Françaix:

Piano Concerto

Claude Paillard-Françaix (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Jean Françaix

Franck, C:

Symphonic Variations for piano & orchestra, M46

Ilse von Alpenheim (piano)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Antal Doráti

Gershwin:

Piano Concerto in F major

Eugene List (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Samuel Adler

Glazunov:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B major Op. 100

Michael Ponti (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

Goetz:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op 18

Michael Ponti (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Henselt:

Piano Concerto in F minor Op. 16

Michael Ponti (piano)

Philharmonia Hungarica, Othmar Maga

Hiller, F:

Konzertstück for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 113

Jerome Rose (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Hoffmeister:

Piano Concerto in D, Op. 24

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Prague Chamber Orchestra, Alberto Zedda

Hummel, J:

Concertino in G major Op. 73

Martin Galling (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Carl-August Bünte

Piano Concerto No. 4 in E major, Op. 110 'Les Adieux'

Hans Kann (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Heribert Beissel

Rondeau ‘La Galante’, Op.120 for solo piano

Martin Galling (piano)

Piano Concerto No. 2 in A minor, Op. 85

Martin Galling (piano)

Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexander Paulmüller

Kalkbrenner:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op 61

Hans Kann (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Heribert Beissel

Kozeluch:

Piano Concerto in D

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Leopold Hager

Kuhlau:

Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 7

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Salzburg Symphony Orchestra, Theodor Guschlbauer

Lalo:

Piano Concerto in F minor

Michael Ponti (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

Liszt:

Malédiction, S121 Op. 452

Michael Ponti (piano)

Southwest German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim, Paul Angerer

Rhapsodie espagnole, S254

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Helmuth Froschauer

Litolff:

Concerto Symphonique No. 3 in E flat major

Michael Ponti (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach

Lyapunov:

Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes, Op. 28

Michael Ponti (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

MacDowell:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor Op. 23

Eugene List (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

Mason, D G:

Prelude & Fugue, Op. 20

Mary Louise Boehm (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

Mayr:

Piano Concerto No.1 in C

Maria Littauer (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Alois Springer

Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60 'Ballade'

Michael Ponti (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Mendelssohn:

Concerto in D minor for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra

Bart van Oort piano · Gil Sharon violin

Amati Chamber Orchestra, Gil Sharon

Piano Concerto in A minor (for piano and strings), 1822

Siegfried Stöckigt (piano)

MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, Herbert Kegel

Capriccio Brillant in B minor Op. 22

Michael Ponti (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25

Derek Han (piano)

Israel Chamber Orchestra, Stephen Gunzenhauser

Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40

Derek Han (piano)

Israel Chamber Orchestra, Stephen Gunzenhauser

Capriccio Brillant in B minor Op. 22

Derek Han (piano)

Israel Chamber Orchestra, Stephen Gunzenhauser

Moscheles:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in G minor Op. 58

Michael Ponti (piano)

Philharmonia Hungarica, Othmar Maga

Mosonyi:

Piano Concerto in E minor

Jerome Rose (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Moszkowski:

Piano Concerto in E major, Op. 59

Michael Ponti (piano)

Philharmonia Hungarica, Hans Richard Stracke

Paderewski:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 17

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Helmuth Froschauer

Paisiello:

Piano Concerto in C major

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn, Jörg Faerber

Pierné, G:

Piano Concerto in C minor, Op. 12

Marylène Dosse (piano)

Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Matthias Kuntzsch

Platti:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G major

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Salzburg Symphony Orchestra, Theodor Guschlbauer

Raff:

Piano Concerto in C minor, Op. 185

Michael Ponti (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Richard Kapp

Reger:

Piano Concerto in F minor, Op. 114

Amadeus Webersinke (piano)

Dresden Philharmonic, Günther Herbig

Reinecke:

Piano Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor, Op. 72

Michael Ponti (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Respighi:

Toccata for Piano and Orchestra

Sandro Ivo Bartoli (piano)

Saxon State Theatre Orchestra, Michele Carulli

Concerto in modo misolidio

Sandro Ivo Bartoli (piano)

Saxon State Theatre Orchestra, Michele Carulli

Rheinberger:

Piano Concerto in A flat, Op. 94

Michael Ponti (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach

Ries:

Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op. 55

Maria Littauer (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Alois Springer

Roussel:

Piano Concerto in G Major, Op. 36

Maria Littauer (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Alois Springer

Rubinstein:

Piano Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 70

Michael Ponti (piano)

Philharmonia Hungarica, Othmar Maga

Concertstück, Op. 113

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Helmuth Froschauer

Saint-Saëns:

Africa - Fantasie for piano & orchestra Op. 89

Marylène Dosse (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Landau

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D major Op. 17

Gabriel Tacchino (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

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

Gabriel Tacchino (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor, Op. 44

Gabriel Tacchino (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-flat major Op. 29

Gabriel Tacchino (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, Op. 103 'Egyptian'

Gabriel Tacchino (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Africa - Fantasie for piano & orchestra Op. 89

Gabriel Tacchino (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Scharwenka, X:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 56

Michael Ponti (piano)

Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Richard Kapp

Schumann:

Introduction & Allegro appassionato in G major, Op. 92

Michael Ponti (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Introduction and Allegro Op. 134

Peter Frankl (piano)

Bamberg Symphony, János Fürst

Sinding:

Piano Concerto in D flat major, Op. 6

Roland Keller (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Jörg Faerber

Stamitz, C:

Piano Concerto in F major

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn, Jörg Faerber

Stavenhagen:

Piano Concerto in B minor, Op. 4

Roland Keller (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Jörg Faerber

Tailleferre:

Ballade

Rosario Marciano (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 75

Michael Ponti (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment

Concert Fantasy, Op. 56

Michael Ponti (piano)

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Richard Kapp

Thalberg:

Piano Concerto in F minor, Op. 5

Michael Ponti (piano)

Westphalian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Kapp

Tomásek:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra C major, Op. 18

Peter Toperczer (piano)

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jindřich Rohan

Viotti:

Double Concerto in A for violin, piano and strings

Martin Galling (piano), Suzanne Lautenbacher (violin)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Carl-August Bünte

Piano Concerto in G minor

Felicja Blumental (piano)

RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Alberto Zedda

Vogler:

Variations on “Marlborough, s’en va-t-en guerre” (1791)

Felicja Blumental (piano)

Prague New Chamber Orchestra, Alberto Zedda

Volkmann:

Konzertstück for piano and orchestra, Op. 42

Jerome Rose (piano)

Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Pierre Cao

Weber:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, J. 98, Op. 11

Roland Keller (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Kohler

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, J. 155, Op. 32

Roland Keller (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Kohler

Konzertstück in F minor, Op. 79 for piano & orchestra

Roland Keller (piano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Siegfried Kohler


Why is it that, when asked to name the most magnificent piano concertos of the Romantic age, only a select few spring to mind? And while these may have been recorded numerous times, why do we allow other concertos of the period to languish in obscurity?

This exciting new release aims to shine a light on those other pieces from the period, which deserve to be better known. It takes in over 60 composers and runs the full gamut of the age we now call ‘Romantic’ – from the initial stirrings of Romanticism in the works of Clementi and Stamitz, through the early adopters such as Field and Hummel, to the passionate virtuosity of Liszt, Saint‐Saëns and Lalo, as well as those neo‐ Romantic composers who looked fondly back to the era, such as Samuel Barber.

Although some of the earliest composers on this boxset are essentially Classical, it is not difficult to detect qualities we now call ‘Romantic’ evident in the composers’ writing, as they leaned away from the restraint, symmetry and clarity of the Classical period. Among those on this release are Stamitz, Hoffmeister and Paisiello, who went on to influence some of the most important composers of the 18th and 19th centuries. These composers, born towards the end of the 18th century, were just beginning to benefit from new advances in the development of the piano; it would be up to their successors to exploit these fully. Born around the same time was John Field, an Irish composer, who was the forerunner of the Romantic period and is best known as the instigator of the nocturne. Five of his piano concertos feature on this release, revealing the composer’s foreign influences, as – having spent much of his life in Russia – he began to add local flair to his works, such as the balalaika.

Almost an exact contemporary of Field was Hummel, who taught Czerny, who went on to teach Liszt. Hummel – who himself had been taught by Mozart – was one of the greatest virtuosi of his time, and his A minor and B minor piano concertos were standard repertoire works of the early 19th century, studied by all the budding virtuosos of the period. The concept of a ‘virtuoso’ performer was a relatively new one, exemplified by Paganini and the attention he drew to the violin as a virtuosic instrument. The piano was not far behind, however, and this reached its climax with the rivalry between Liszt and Thalberg – two stupendous pianists, the same age, whose performance at a benefit in Paris was tantamount to a piano duel. Some of Liszt’s most fiendish works feature on this release, including his Malédiction for piano and strings, and Totentanz, famed for its shockingly percussive piano effects. Thalberg is not forgotten, with his Piano Concerto No.5 showcasing the composer and pianist’s penchant for virtuosity, even if it was written in his teens.

The release is rounded off by Romantic composers from further afield; some of the finest American composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries appear, including Daniel Mason – little known here but much admired during his lifetime – as well as Beach, Barber and Gershwin. Mason was a devotee of Brahms and fiercely opposed to modern developments in music, such as Impressionism. Amy Beach was more open to stylistic changes during her lifetime, while Barber – born in 1910 – loved to utilise the expressive tonality of the 19th century in his compositions, including in his 1962 Piano Concerto, on CD19 of this boxset.

The perfect starting point for exploring Romantic piano music. It features historic recordings of a truly excellent standard, including Felicja Blumental with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Helmuth Froschauer, the Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg with Pierre Cao accompanying French pianist Dosse, Boehm with the Westphalian Symphony Orchestra under Siegfried Landau, and Antal Doráti conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Ilse von Alpenheim.

Most of the recordings come from the rich and unique Vox catalogue, featuring such excellent pianists as Michael Ponti, Hans Kann, Martin Galling, Jerome Rose, Roland Keller and many more.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Brilliant Classics - 95300BR

(CD - 40 discs)

$77.25

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