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Kurt Atterburg: Piano Concerto
Kurt Atterberg, Ari Rasilainen, NDR Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Kurt Atterburg: Piano Concerto
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1


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The lush romanticism of Atterberg highly attractive music.
David A. Hollingsworth | Washington, DC USA | 02/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After giving much praise to Atterberg's Third and Sixth Symphonies (well played by Rasilainen and the Radio Philharmonic Hannover of NDR), there's plenty to admire in this CD. The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1927-1935) is the main attraction here. Though not quite a masterpiece in comparison with Grieg's Piano Concerto, it has a great deal going for it. The beginning of the Concerto alludes to that of Grieg. But listen to the remaining minutes of the first movement and you'll sense something Rachmaninovian in its brooding, somewhat melancholic, romantic atmosphere. But listen further and you'll sense the structure and style somewhat similar to the first movement of Medtner's First Piano Concerto. The overall atmosphere is Nordic, but with that Slavic concentration and coloring that brings to mind the young, searching Scriabin. The Andante movement is especially memorable: the mood which is subtle and melancholic with the piano writing that is soothing, flowing, and grandeur in the worlds of Rachmaninov and even Medtner. And the support of the captivating muted strings somewhat Baxian in nature is inescapable here. But turn to the intense middle part of the movement and you'll find yourself enraptured by its subtlety and substance of musical thought. The finale is robust and triumphant, again Nordic, but again with that Slavic inner thoughts that are not too far from, say, Lyapunov (try 1:10 - ff).

The other two works on this disc include the Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra & Ballad and Passacaglia. The Rhapsody is particularly an outgoing, somewhat flamboyant piece. The quiet middle section is very memorable and captivating. The equally impressive Ballad and Passacaglia is rather characteristic: alternating between the somber slow tempo sections and energetic, ebullient, dramatic ones.

Love Derwinger continues to be a compelling, musically conscious pianist. He possesses this gift of not only matching the essences behind the music, but also taking them to the next level that is immensely rewarding. As in Reger's Piano Concerto (BIS), Derwinger goes deep and unyielding in Atterberg's Concerto and Rhapsody. But what's more is that Derwinger is such an imaginative artist that he seems to go beyond the conventionalism behind the playing and makes a piece sound as if there's an occassion like no others. That's what a great artist would do, give a piece an occassion that will make you want to come back for more: a "cherry pie under the rays of the sun" in other words. Rasilainen and the Radio Philharmonic Hannover of NDR measure up to Derwinger flair and imagination euphoniously. Thumbs up to CPO for its ungoing series of Swedish music (and severely underplayed works in general)."