Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ignaz Moscheles - Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 6 & 7 (Howard Shelley)


Information

Composer: Ignaz Moscheles
  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 45: I. Allegro maestoso
  2. Piano Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 45: II. Adagio
  3. Piano Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 45: III. Rondeau. Allegro vivace
  4. Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat major "Fantastique", Op. 90: I. Allegro con spirito -
  5. Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat major "Fantastique", Op. 90: II. Andante espressivo -
  6. Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat major "Fantastique", Op. 90: III. Allegro agitato -
  7. Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat major "Fantastique", Op. 90: IV. Vivace
  8. Piano Concerto No. 7 in C minor "Pathétique", Op. 93: I. [ ]
  9. Piano Concerto No. 7 in C minor "Pathétique", Op. 93: II. Allegro agitato -
  10. Piano Concerto No. 7 in C minor "Pathétique", Op. 93: III. Allegro con brio

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Howard Shelley, piano & conductor

Date: 2003
Label: Hyperion
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA67385

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Review

Another outstanding disc full of drama and novelty in an ever resourceful series

In last year’s August issue I celebrated the arrival of the first of Howard Shelley’s Moscheles concerto cycle, marvelling at his stylistic elegance and nimbleness in a triple role of pianist, conductor and producer. Here in Volume 2 he once again lays a sparkling enchantment across even the most innocent pages, while also reminding us in his subtlety wit and pace of Moscheles’s only outwardly conservative nature. As Henry Roche so finely puts it in his accompanying notes, ‘the earlier five concertos retain a firmly classical orientation, even though each shows different facets of the composer’s originality and exploratory bent’. 

Later, in his last three concertos, Moscheles moved on with an increasing sense of drama and novelty, his titles – Fantastique, Pathétique and Pastorale (No 8) and his directions at the conclusion of the Seventh Concerto (con furia, con abbandono, frenetico and con disperazione) declaring their Romantic provenance. Even so, it is hard not to fall for the First Concerto’s memories of Mozart, of its amiability and clear-sightedness. In the finale, in particular, one frisky delight follows another; with its toy fanfares, bustle and importance and concluding rush of events, it is as if Lilliput had taken to the battlefield. 

The later concertos are richer, darker and more inclusive, with ideas growing and expanding with a greater expressive intensity. Moscheles may have grumbled at what he saw as Chopin’s ‘irregularities’ and audacity, but in Concertos Nos 6 and 7 he takes on board a recognisable wistfulness and floridity, adding to the influences of Hummel and Mendelssohn while at the same time maintaining his own distinctive voice. Nonetheless, such music demands a very special performance if its virtues are to outshine its limitations and Shelley’s expertise, his immaculate charm and brio cast a brilliant light on every page. His Tasmanian orchestra is with him all the way and Hyperion’s sound and balance are of demonstration quality. An exemplary issue; I can scarcely wait for Volume 3.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ***
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Jun03/Moscheles.htm
http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/h/hyp67385a.php
http://www.amazon.com/Moscheles-Piano-Concerti-Ignaz/dp/B00008ZZ3H

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Ignaz Moscheles (23 May 1794 – 10 March 1870) was a Bohemian composer and piano virtuoso. His career in his early years was based initially in London, and later at Leipzig, where he joined his friend and sometime pupil Felix Mendelssohn as Professor of Piano at the Conservatoire. Among his 142 opus numbers, Moscheles wrote an overture, a ballet, a symphony and eight piano concertos. Moscheles also left several chamber works and a large number of works for piano solo, including sonatas and the études that continued to be studied by advanced students even as Moscheles's music fell into eclipse.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Moscheles

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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. He has appeared regularly on television and on the soundtrack of several films.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Shelley

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