FERDINAND HILLER (1811-1885): 24 Etudes, Op. 15, Sonatas No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 47, No. 2 in A Flat, Op. 59 & No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 78, 8 Mésures variées in D Minor, Op. 57, Varations in D Flat, Op. 98, Capriccio in G Minor, Op. 88, 2 Impromptus, Op. 30.
Catalogue Number: 08L007
Reference: GCD 116/117
Description: The only Hiller piano music on CD is the Hyperion disc of his two piano concertos (offered in May 2008) making this 131-minute release from one of the most fondly remembered LP unusual piano-repetoire labels a real bonanza for Romantic piano collectors. This is a new recording - not a reissue of old LP material. The major work here is the set of Etudes of 1834. Hiller and Chopin were close friends and some, at least, of Chopin's Etudes (published the year before) were written at the same time as Hiller's. The friendship was one of of the mutuality of musical thought too, as several of Hiller's etudes demonstrate; what is interesting, however, is the similarities to some of Chopin's Préludes which were not written until 1839, meaning that Chopin was influenced by Hiller! The three sonatas were written between 1851-53 and show why Brahms and Liszt relegated Hiller to conservative purgatory: far from the huge, four-movement sonatas of the former, these are short, 9-13 minute, single-movement works of three attacca movements in which the tempo increases from one to the next. There is no motivic development or transformation - just a lavish succession of melodic invention in a full-sounding and virtuosic texture. A fascinating and important release. 2 CDs. Adrian Ruiz (piano).