Not quite for that candle-light dinner ....
Alan Lekan | Boulder, CO | 03/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps its best to first clarify the context of this CD's title, "Romantic Piano Music." The word "Romantic" here is not about sensuous mood music to share with your significant other. Rather, it refers to the musical era labeled "Romanticism" which started around Beethoven and ended around 1900 with the development of the "modern era." It is odd that Mozart is featured here as he clearly belongs to the preceeding "classical" era (but the piece here is one of his best). So, this CD features solo piano music of that era which has musical characteristics like expressive lyricism ... passionate, personal and poetic emotional displays ... more experimenting with tonal color and harmony ... and frequent shifts of key, tempo and dynamic range (very soft to very loud). So, with especially with this last characteristic in mind, don't expect "Romantic music for a candle light dinner" here as several of the pieces go from quiet, introspective melodies to fast-paced runs or loud, dissonant chords (just hear the first bar of the last track). But, such is "romantic expression" in music. If you are just looking for some nice solo-piano dinner music, try John Field's serene Nocturnes or Chopin's uplifting Waltzes or the quiet compliation disc, "Chopin for Relaxation."
But, if your interest is to explore the great composers and piano literature of the Romantic era, this is a fine CD to do that for many reasons. One reason is the variety of styles and nationalities featured here. One other characteristic of the music of this period was the expression of pride in one's country (Nationalism movement). Nearly all of the composers whose works are featured on this disc were major influences in music history and showed varying degress of Nationism: Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Liszt from Germany ... Chopin from Poland ... Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov from Russian ... Debussy and Satie from France ... and Albeniz from Spain. With such an international line-up of famous composers, you will find a wide range of musical styles, flavors and expressions to discover and enjoy. Most of the selections here are among the more famous piano pieces, so it is a good place to start. And supported by capable artists, good sound quality and some decent liner notes giving the history of the music, this CD provides a compelling journey into the piano music of the mid-late 19th century ... but maybe not ideal for that romantic interlude you might have had in mind.
PS: The title song of this CD, "Fur (for) Elise," is one of Beethoven's most recognizable and simple tunes, often heard in those miniature music boxes or even cell-phone ring tones.
Virginia D'Angelo | 05/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Impeccably recorded and beautifully performed. A bargain."
Virginia D'Angelo | Coram, NY United States | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the clearest and most enjoyable CDs I have purchased. The music is pure and all piano, no frills. I feel like I can play, which of course I can not. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys excellent piano."