Sunday, May 14, 2017

Friedrich Kalkbrenner - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 4 (Howard Shelley)


Information

Composer: Friedrich Kalkbrenner
  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 61: I. Allegro maestoso
  2. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 61: II. Adagio di molto
  3. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 61: III. Rondeau. Vivace
  4. Piano Concerto No. 4 in A flat major, Op. 127: I. Maestoso brillante
  5. Piano Concerto No. 4 in A flat major, Op. 127: II. Adagio
  6. Piano Concerto No. 4 in A flat major, Op. 127: III. Rondeau. Allegro non troppo

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Howard Shelley, piano & conductor

Date: 2006
Label: Hyperion
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA67535

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Review

Hyperion’s 41st offering in their invaluable “Romantic Piano Concerto” series includes a first recording of Kalkbrenner’s Fourth Piano Concerto lovingly reconstructed by Howard Shelley and Philip Littlemore. And this, together with the First Concerto, allows one a scintillating overview of a composer as admired for his playing as he was despised as a person. A fake grand seigneur and “popinjay” (delightful word), Kalkbrenner was mocked by most contemporaries of note, though Chopin fell briefly under his spell.

“A knowing fellow” whose music was like “a bonbon fallen in the mud” (Heinrich Heine), Kalkbrenner needs an especially persuasive advocate. And in Howard Shelley he has found a pianist who not only relishes everything the composer throws at him, including ambuscades of double notes, but who plays with truly dazzling wit and style. Shelley is a master of such period virtuosity, yet he surpasses even his own standards and it is hard to imagine a more fine-spun or dazzling command. The fidgety theme opening the First Concerto’s finale and its subsequent embellishment provide a case in point, as does the finale of the Fourth Concerto where Shelley’s effortless bravura would surely have awed and piqued the composer himself. Amazingly, Shelley finds himself able to conduct as well as play these concertos, and he has been immaculately balanced and recorded.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

More reviews:
ClassicsToday  ARTISTIC QUALITY: 9 / SOUND QUALITY: 9
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Oct06/Kalkbrenner_CDA67535.htm
http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/h/hyp67535a.php
http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-romantic-piano-concerto-vol-41-friedrich-kalkbrenner-piano-concertos-nos-1-4-mw0001395780
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Concertos-Nos-1-4/dp/B000GPI26S

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Friedrich Kalkbrenner (November 2–8, 1785 – June 10, 1849) was a German-born pianist, composer, piano teacher and piano manufacturer. Kalkbrenner studied at the Paris Conservatoire starting at a young age and lived most of his life in Paris. At his peak, Kalkbrenner was considered to be the foremost pianist in Europe, with Johann Nepomuk Hummel as his only serious rival. Kalkbrenner was a prolific composer but not much of his huge output has survived. Kalkbrenner had quite a few pupils and some of them became fine pianists and sometimes also good composers.

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Howard Shelley (born 9 March 1950) is a British pianist and conductor. He was educated at Highgate School and the Royal College of Music. As pianist he has performed, broadcast and recorded around the world with leading orchestras and conductors. He made many recordings for Chandos, Hyperion and EMI, including Rachmaninov's complete piano music and concertos. As a conductor, he has held positions of Associate and Principal Guest Conductor with the London Mozart Players in a close relationship of over twenty years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Shelley

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    1. booklet
      http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/notes/67535-B.pdf

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