D. A Wend | Buffalo Grove, IL USA | 10/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I ordered this CD after reading Bryce Morrison's review in Gramophone. I had not heard any of Kalkbrenner's music until this disc but am pleased that I got to know these concertos. Friedrich Kalkbrenner was a prodigy, performing Haydn concertos at the age of 5-1/2. He was friendly with all of the famous composers of his day: Beethoven, Hummel and Clementi and was a brilliant and successful pianist and teacher. He had a large number of pupil, among them for a brief time was Chopin He had quite an inflated sense of his own value and was lampooned by Heine as a "bonbon fallen in the mud."
The concertos remind of Chopin with their stunning virtuosity. The First Concerto, like Chopin's First, has a long orchestral introduction before the piano enters. The Forth is quite different with the soloist beginning after a brief twenty bar introduction. Both concertos are dazzling in their writing and demand a pianist of high ability. Howard Shelly is perfect for these concertos and is beautifully accompanied by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Shelly also helped to reconstruct the Fourth Concerto from parts which clearly indicates his commitment to Kalkbrenner's music.
This is a delightful disc that is a must for anyone addicted to romantic piano concertos.
Another Quality Item In The Series
Alan Beggerow | Rock Falls, IL USA | 02/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hyperion's ongoing series of 'Romantic Piano Concertos' makes available recordings of works by composers that classical music lovers may know about, but have never actually heard any of their music.
Kalkbrenner is essentially known as a pianist that Chopin admired, and he considered becoming his student. These concertos reveal that Kalkbrenner must have had a dazzling technique. Most piano concertos written in this time period were written by pianists for their personal performance. Naturally these pianist/composers would write to spotlight their technique and mastery of the instrument.
This series brings forth music seldom heard. The concertos on this disc, while not being masterworks of the highest order, are quite good and deserve to be known better.