The Romantic Piano Concerto - 56
FRIEDRICH KALKBRENNER (1785-1849): Piano Concertos No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 85 and No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 107, Adagio ed Allegro di bravura for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 102.
Catalogue Number: 03N001
Reference: CDA 67843
Description: Fifteen volumes of this series and five and a half years on from this composer's First and Fourth concertos (10I042) we get the remaining two: the 33-minute Second from 1826 and the much shorter (because a slow movement is more or less dispensed with by having a 150-second bridging passage between the first movement and the rondo finale) Third of three years later. The Adagio ed Allegro comes from 1830 and shares more than a little in style and form with Chopin's Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise. For the content, well, it's what music historians as well as Kalkbrenner's contemporaries have been trashing as empty, vapid virtuosity for almost 200 years. However, the notes, when not telling amusing tales of Kalkbrenner's monstrous vanity and conceitedness, point out the advances made by his piano writing in equality and responsiveness of the fingers, octave playing and use of the pedals while also noting how much more difficult it is to play this stuff on the modern grand than on the period instruments with their lighter action. Needless to say with this series, it's modern grand all the way. Over to you, piano maniacs! Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Howard Shelley (piano).