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 Post subject: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:20 pm 
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2nd LIEUTENANT
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Some years ago I bought this box:

Image

This was my starting point to this fascinating topic. This box was very cheap and may suit all those who want an inexpensive way to explore this repertoire.

I discovered alot. I really love the Kalkbrenner. Hummel was great and so was the Moscheles. Field was wonderfull, Litolff very impressive. This box is really a voyage of discovery.

Image

Hyperion with their "romantic piano concerto" edition has recorded alot of new stuff. I bought already the Kalkbrenner which is fabulous. I had already the Saint Saens.

As I told you at another place. JPC, which is a German company, has a "special offer". All these full price CDs for half of the price and I ordered already Moscheles and Litolff.

I am very glad for these things, because the repertoire of romantic piano concertos is very restricted. It's Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Tschaikovski's 1st and Dvorak, maybe Saint Saens and that's all.

So I would strongly recommend the Brilliant box for exploration, but also this special offer of http://www.jpc.de ( you could switch to English if you want) for the wonderfull ( and mostly better) Hyperion CDs.


Opinions?

Regards
Florestan


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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:26 pm 
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JOVE THE MIGHTY THUNDERER
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Here's an opinion, visit the thread on Hummel's piano concertos...

hummel-piano-concertos-t1887.html

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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:19 pm 
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As you can see I wrote a statement in this thread. But Hummel is not the greatest discovery of all these discoveries in this repertoire. Hummel has sometimes good tunes. The greatest discovery for me was Kalkbrenner who really stands repeated listening. Sometimes disappointing at first he becomes better and better if you listen more often to his works. This shows for me that he is a composer of stature and that he is underestimated.

There is not much of Kalkbrenner in the catalogue, only the concertos by Hyperion ( the 1st in the golden age box), a CD of piano music, I have it, which is also very nice, and there is a CD with chamber music ( I guess I must have it ).

There are alot other composers to talk about and I have listened to most of this box, of course only to a certain extent. I may add some comments to these. Ries was a complete disappointment for me, Raff was better but not my cup of tea. Piernes concerto was really great, Litolff fabulous similar to Liszt. Moscheles has a very good tune but i got the impression that he can't "fill" the whole concerto ( as Kalkbrenner can). The same goes for Hummel but both composers where discoveries nevertheless. Hiller is stylistically interesting, a solid man, but no genius. Czerny is very charming virtuosity at first sight but not something which will feed you completely. Clementi ( anyway no "romantic") was not a great discovery.

A discovery for me was certainly Field. Sometimes he is a bit empty, but he is a very good composer nevertheless. The "golden age" box includes the 2nd concerto but I have also the 1st und 3rd concerto on Naxos. This is sometimes very good music, sometimes a bit banal but a joy to listen to.

I have heard some other composers, some I liked , some I liked not. I can't claim to have listened to all with proper concentration. But this box was certainly a good idea, as I really like romantic piano concertos and I found some wonderfull stuff.

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Florestan


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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:32 pm 
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JOVE THE MIGHTY THUNDERER
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Florestan wrote:
As you can see I wrote a statement in this thread. But Hummel is not the greatest discovery of all these discoveries in this repertoire. Hummel has sometimes good tunes. The greatest discovery for me was Kalkbrenner who really stands repeated listening. Sometimes disappointing at first he becomes better and better if you listen more often to his works. This shows for me that he is a composer of stature and that he is underestimated.

There is not much of Kalkbrenner in the catalogue, only the concertos by Hyperion ( the 1st in the golden age box), a CD of piano music, I have it, which is also very nice, and there is a CD with chamber music ( I guess I must have it )...

The name Kalkbrenner is certainly new to me, though I've heard the efforts of the other names you mention. I'll have to see what I can find from this composer.

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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Hi Rod

I personally like Kalkbrenner. But just now ( in a German classical music forum) there is a person who bought the Brilliant box and says that this box was a complete disappointment. This is absolutely possible and this certain person is very experienced.

Kalkbrenner certainly doesn't find tunes who will for all times stay in the collective mind of mankind. He is no Chopin.

But not all composers who aren't firstrate are thirdrate. The Brilliant box shows us a lot composers who are closely connected to those we know. Kalkbrenner and Chopin were very close and Chopin played Kalkbrenner concertos and dedicated his first piano concerto to Kalkbrenner. Liszt dedicated his first piano concerto to Litolff, Schumann to Hiller. Schumann declared Moscheles to a piano composer of the first rank ( it is this concerto which is included in this box). All these composers are in this box.

This Brilliant box certainly doesn't show first rate orchestral playing and sometimes it's awfull ( for example in the otherwise good Henselt concerto). But for me this Brilliant box was really a voyage of discovery.

But on the other hand you should be warned - you can't expect Beethoven or Brahms. The Brilliant box is good to explore this repertoire, but especially Hyperion is good to enlarge your collection with better recordings. But I find not one recording of say Kalkbrenner at Spotify ( and don't know what Youtube has), so it may be neccessary to buy this box for at least have a chance to listen to these composers.

Regards
Martin


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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:18 pm 
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A very good romantic piano concerto that I can recommend is the American composer Edward Macdowell's Second Piano Concerto. This work was much more popular here in the States in the 1960s than it is today which is a shame. He was a New York native composer who traveled to Europe to study, compose, and teach.

Here is an excellent Earl Wild performance on YT:


Check out the Van Cliburn YT excerpts as well.

Here is his bio from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_MacDowell



Here is a tribute:
http://www.americanmusicpreservation.co ... Dowell.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Thank you Digiti,

Mac Dowells concerto is as a matter of fact included in my Brilliant box. I am not sure that I have listened to it, but now, with your recommendation it's time to do so. My Brilliant recording ist Eugene Liszt, Westfälisches Sinfonieorchester/ Siegfried Landau. An old vox recording, most of the Briliant box is Vox ( that's a rhyme :wink: )

Regards
Florestan


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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:06 pm 
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JOVE THE MIGHTY THUNDERER
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Florestan wrote:
Hi Rod

I personally like Kalkbrenner. But just now ( in a German classical music forum) there is a person who bought the Brilliant box and says that this box was a complete disappointment. This is absolutely possible and this certain person is very experienced.

Kalkbrenner certainly doesn't find tunes who will for all times stay in the collective mind of mankind. He is no Chopin.

But not all composers who aren't firstrate are thirdrate. The Brilliant box shows us a lot composers who are closely connected to those we know. Kalkbrenner and Chopin were very close and Chopin played Kalkbrenner concertos and dedicated his first piano concerto to Kalkbrenner. Liszt dedicated his first piano concerto to Litolff, Schumann to Hiller. Schumann declared Moscheles to a piano composer of the first rank ( it is this concerto which is included in this box). All these composers are in this box.

This Brilliant box certainly doesn't show first rate orchestral playing and sometimes it's awfull ( for example in the otherwise good Henselt concerto). But for me this Brilliant box was really a voyage of discovery.

But on the other hand you should be warned - you can't expect Beethoven or Brahms. The Brilliant box is good to explore this repertoire, but especially Hyperion is good to enlarge your collection with better recordings. But I find not one recording of say Kalkbrenner at Spotify ( and don't know what Youtube has), so it may be neccessary to buy this box for at least have a chance to listen to these composers.

Regards
Martin

Well remind your friend at the German Forum that if one is looking for the very best performances then perhaps one should not been looking at Brilliant Classics boxed sets! They serve a purpose but all-round excellence is rare from this lable, although there are some examples to the contrary I could mention. Generally you have to pick and choose from various sources. If it is the music itself he is dissatisfied with, well, that is why I only have Beethoven's piano concertos on my audio player. Brahms is typically too long-winded for me, a trait I suspect he learned or had enhanced by his extensive Schubert studies.

But back to Kalkbrenner, it took me 10 seconds to find him at YouTube. Haven't played them yet but here is his second concerto...

Kalkbrenner - Piano Concerto No.2 Op.85
Click button to:



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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Rod Corkin wrote:
Well remind your friend at the German Forum that if one is looking for the very best performances then perhaps one should not been looking at Brilliant Classics boxed sets! They serve a purpose but all-round excellence is rare from this lable, although there are some examples to the contrary I could mention. Generally you have to pick and choose from various sources.


Well, but Brilliant classics is no ordinary classic label and uses vastly music from other labels. In this case these are the old Vox recordings. These were the pioneering recordings which might be valuable to know for historic reasons. The pianists in these recordings are not bad. It's especially the Ponti. I know a person in the German who knew Ponti and Ponti said at that time I had to eat notes. My impression of this set: The pianists aren't bad, the orchestras like the Berlin symphonics or the Hamburg sinfonics are not the badest orchestras but second class but I get also the impression that they are not very good rehearsed.

Hyperion is propably much better but a Hyperion CD is expensive. The Brilliant box gives you the opportunity to listen zu alot of this stuff for a very cheap price. I would not like to miss it.

Regards
Florestan


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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:14 pm 
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JOVE THE MIGHTY THUNDERER
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Florestan wrote:
Well, but Brilliant classics is no ordinary classic label and uses vastly music from other labels. In this case these are the old Vox recordings. These were the pioneering recordings which might be valuable to know for historic reasons. The pianists in these recordings are not bad. It's especially the Ponti. I know a person in the German who knew Ponti and Ponti said at that time I had to eat notes. My impression of this set: The pianists aren't bad, the orchestras like the Berlin symphonics or the Hamburg sinfonics are not the badest orchestras but second class but I get also the impression that they are not very good rehearsed.

Hyperion is propably much better but a Hyperion CD is expensive. The Brilliant box gives you the opportunity to listen zu alot of this stuff for a very cheap price. I would not like to miss it.

Regards
Florestan

Yes I am aware Brilliant gets much of its music from various sources as I have a few of these CDs myself (eg the 3 disk set of Beethoven lieder by Peter Schreier licensed from Edel Classics). But Brilliant also make new releases of their own, such as their current (generally disappointing!) Handel cantatas series. As I mentioned above you can find some good things from Brilliant, but if you are selective about your performances you will most likely have to look elsewere, and alas pay more...

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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:56 pm 
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Well, the Kalkbrenner you got from Youtube is a very old one, but I will listen to it.

In the label Brilliant you will be right, but it was a wonderfull label to explore music up to now.

But for the Kalkbrenner: He is not the greatest composers of all time - that's for certain. But in my view he is very much underrated. Only recently I spoke to a professor of piano playing of the music high school in Hamburg and he said the same thing.

When I first experienced Kalkbrenner he seemed boring ( it was the first piano concerto of this Brilliant box). Listening to it more often it somehow became fascinating as it has similarities to Chopin's concertos. Having now the Hyperion recordings and a CD with solo piano music I come to the conclusion that Kalkbrenner has something special to say. Born 1785, so younger than Beethoven and older than Schubert, he appears to me as the real inventor of the "Chopinesk", and while Chopin in some way surpassed his idol, Kalkbrenner is still the original man and is unique in this matter. So what is so striking in Kalkbrenner are not the "tunes" but his abilities to fill his works with music of substance and second his way to write in an unique way for the piano, and everything he does is wonderfull for the piano - and wouldn't work for say the recorder. Therefore I listen again and again and again to the Kalkbrenner and I somehow love the man.

The Kalkbrenner from Hyperion was by the way a Christmas present - and a very valuable one. So listen to the Kalkbrenner and you will be disappointed, but listen to him more often - then maybe you will share my enthusiasm.

Regards
Florestan


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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Florestan wrote:

When I first experienced Kalkbrenner he seemed boring ( it was the first piano concerto of this Brilliant box). Listening to it more often it somehow became fascinating as it has similarities to Chopin's concertos. Having now the Hyperion recordings and a CD with solo piano music I come to the conclusion that Kalkbrenner has something special to say. Born 1785, so younger than Beethoven and older than Schubert, he appears to me as the real inventor of the "Chopinesk", and while Chopin in some way surpassed his idol, Kalkbrenner is still the original man and is unique in this matter. So what is so striking in Kalkbrenner are not the "tunes" but his abilities to fill his works with music of substance and second his way to write in an unique way for the piano, and everything he does is wonderfull for the piano - and wouldn't work for say the recorder. Therefore I listen again and again and again to the Kalkbrenner and I somehow love the man.

The Kalkbrenner from Hyperion was by the way a Christmas present - and a very valuable one. So listen to the Kalkbrenner and you will be disappointed, but listen to him more often - then maybe you will share my enthusiasm.

Regards
Florestan

Well there is a lot of Chopin in Hummel's 2nd and 3rd piano concertos too, which makes it clear Chopin's own style is not as original as one might think! But I'll have a listen to the Kalkbrenner youtubes, probably over the weekend though.

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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:22 am 
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I was just listening to internet radio by chance today and I heard a very entertaining piece by Ignaz Moscheles "Anticipations of Scotland" Piano Fantasia Op. 75 played by Howard Shelley. I think this composer is worth further investigation. His music has the style of Chopin and Liszt in its sound. He was a teacher of Mendelssohn.

Bio from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Moscheles
YT has his First Piano Concerto played by Ian Hobson here:



Some very tuneful music I would say. I feel I have made a discovery today. See what you think.

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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:59 am 
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Hi Digiti

I like Moscheles 3rd piano concerto which is in the Brilliant box. I have ordered now the concertos 1,6 and 7 on Hyperion. I couldn't make up my mind to buy all of these CDs, they are three. I know a person in my German forum who knows all tree CDs and he said the later piano concertos 5 - 7 are better. But this is only the personal opinion of one person.

I know though that Robert Schumann regarded Moscheles as a first class composer for the piano. He said so over this 3rd piano concerto. I ordered by the way also the Litolff, I will talk about it when my CDs arrive.

But thank you for your opinion.

Regards Florestan


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 Post subject: Re: Rare ( and good!) romantic piano concertos
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:14 pm 
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An interesting aside to Edward MacDowell - Edward Downes program notes writer for the New York Philharmonic and who many of us remember hosting the Metropolitan Opera Quiz intermission feature on the broadcasts - compiled all his writings in a book ,The New York Philharmonic Guide to the Symphony - stated that Franz Liszt after hearing MacDowell play his first piano concerto and examining other MacDowell compositions , persuaded the American to devote himself to full time composing .It was through Listz's support that MacDowells works began to be performed in Germany andhis first and second concerto's were published by a german firm - It was Liszt's deathin 1886 which made the heartbroken MacDowell decide to return to the United States and make his permanent home in America ...... Incidentally he was born in NYCand lived also in Boston


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