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Monday, May 1, 2017

Frédéric Alfred d'Erlanger - Orchestral Works (Johannes Wildner)


Composer: Frédéric Alfred d'Erlanger
  1. Prélude Romantique
  2. Andante Symphonique for cello and orchestra, Op. 18
  3. Sursum Corda!, prélude for orchestra
  4. Ballade for cello and orchestra
  5. Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra: I. Maestoso - Allegretto - Allegro
  6. Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra: II. Scherzo. Marcato e staccato
  7. Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra: III. Moderato assai - Larghetto -
  8. Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra: IV. Moderato ma appassionato

Guy Johnston, cello (2, 4)
Victor Sangiorgio, piano (5-8)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Johannes Wildner, conductor

Date: 2013
Label: Dutton



German father, American mother, born in Paris, naturalised British (he lived most of his life in London), Baron Frédéric d’Erlanger (1868-1943) combined the professions of banker and composer. An intriguing character – and, at a stroke, this disc more than quadruples all extant recordings of his music. Fritz Kreisler gave the British premiere of his Violin Concerto; Benno Moiseiwitsch championed the Piano Concerto heard here. D’Erlanger, as Lewis Foreman observes in his excellent booklet, clearly established a considerable musical presence in his lifetime.

The works here date from 1903 (Andante symphonique) to 1934 (Prélude romantique) but could have come from any time in the previous half-century. But if his harmonic language is conservative, d’Erlanger emerges as an extremely accomplished, agreeably undemanding composer whose orchestral pieces hover somewhere between high-class Ketèlbey and low-grade Elgar. The two cello pieces (Guy Johnston the eloquent soloist) are well worth reviving.

The Piano Concerto is the meatiest offering here with the admirable Victor Sangiorgio, increasingly the Michael Ponti of Dutton, doing the honours in splendid style. He has more than his fair share of work during the four movements. The first of these is like a mountain trek with a series of false summits, a succession of surging climaxes reminding one of Marx’s Romantic Concerto, with a pretty secondary subject that threatens to break into Liszt’s Liebestraum No 3. The Scherzo à la Litolff would have fitted on to one side of a 10in 78, while the melodic movement flows easily into the arresting finale. A superb recording (Watford Colosseum) with Johannes Wildner conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra in the kind of music they do best.

-- Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone

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Frédéric Alfred d'Erlanger (29 May 1868 in Paris – 23 April 1943 in London) was an Anglo-French composer, banker and patron of the arts. His compositions include works of all kinds, notably some operas and ballets was produced. As a millionaire, d'Erlanger was described as a "genuine Renaissance man"; he was a noted patron of the arts in London and invested in developing countries, financing department store chains in South America and railways in South Africa.


Guy Johnston (born 1981) is a British cellist. Johnston came to prominence after winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2000. He has subsequently enjoyed a successful international career as a soloist and chamber musician and currently serves as a Professor of Cello at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Johnston's performances and recordings are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. His instrument is a 1714 David Tecchler cello.


Victor Sangiorgio is an Australian classical pianist. Sangiorgio was born in Italy but his family moved to Australia when he was four. By the age of nineteen he had been a soloist with all the major Australian orchestras and had recorded and broadcast extensively on radio and television. He now resides in London and performs and records internationally. With Belinda McFarlane, violin, and Matthew Lee, cello, he is a member of the piano trio fiorini.


Johannes Wildner (born 1956 in Mürzzuschlag, Austria) is an Austrian conductor, conducting professor, and former violinist.  Wildner studied conducting, violin and musicology and has established himself as one of the foremost Austrian conductors. His years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London from 2010-2104. Wildner has recorded over 60 CDs, DVDs and videos.


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