Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hans Pfitzner - Piano Concerto (Volker Banfield)


Information

Composer: Hans Pfitzner
  1. Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 31: 1. Pomphaft, mit Kraft und Schwung
  2. Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 31: 2. Heiterer Satz. Ziemlich schnell, in einheitlich atemlosen Zeitmaß
  3. Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 31: 3. Äußerst ruhig, versonnen, schwärmerisch
  4. Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 31: 4. Rasch, ungeschlacht, launig

Volker Banfield, piano
Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Werner Andreas Albert, conductor

Date: 1982
Label: cpo


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Review

Pfitzner's voice often drifts into areas we may easily take as allusions to the most unexpected people. The opening of the piano concerto is pretty rugged and its fulsome romance is close to that of Rachmaninov - the last person I would have expected. The wings of the concerto are as the notes candidly point out somewhat clipped in this recording. The Marco Polo in which the soloist is Wolf Harden is similarly shorn of its full length. There is still room for a full length recording. Some critics have suggested Schumann as a reference point but for me (if we need references - and they are always useful in unfamiliar music) - the voices of both Brahms (Second Piano Concerto) and Mendelssohn come together in this Pfitzner work. Despite being the oldest of the recordings here the sound is very respectable.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

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Hans Pfitzner (5 May 1869 – 22 May 1949) was a German composer and self-described anti-modernist. His best known work is the post-Romantic opera Palestrina, loosely based on the life of the sixteenth-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Pfitzner's music, including pieces in all the major genres except the symphonic poem, was respected by contemporaries such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. His works combine Romantic and Late Romantic elements with extended thematic development, atmospheric music drama, and the intimacy of chamber music. Pfitzner's students included musicians such as Otto Klemperer, Charles Münch and Carl Orff.

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Volker Banfield (born 9 May 1944, Oberaudorf, Bavaria) is a German pianist. He studied at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie in Detmold, and at the Juilliard School (with Adele Marcus) and at the University of Texas (with Leonard Shure). His repertory emphasized late 19th century and 20th century music featuring works by Bartók, Debussy, Messiaen, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin. The contemporary composers György Ligeti and Detlev Müller-Siemens have dedicated works to him. He recorded the world-premiere recording of Hans Pfitzner's Piano Concerto.

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