The concerto performances here have been available in a number of guises over the years, and have rarely been out of the catalogue. In their last incarnation they were coupled with the other items from Perahia’s later, digital solo disc, namely the Variations sérieuses, Op.54 and the famous Rondo Capriccioso, Op.14, as well as the Prelude and Fugue that’s here again. The powers-that-be at Sony must have decided that the Piano Sonata represents better value, and it is certainly a very substantial piece, making a well-filled re-issue.
Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos has been known for high-powered Liszt performances and for gee-whiz transcriptions of works like Mozart's Rondo alla turca that seem to add an impossible collection of polyphonic lines to the music. All that could have been expected from this 2003 recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23, was another big, powerful interpretation to join the others already out there.
Théodore Dubois was a prominent French composer, organist, theorist, and teacher in the mid- to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but he is perhaps better remembered for a monumental deficit in judgment than for his music itself. He was a staunch conservative, and as director of the Paris Conservatoire, he refused to award the Prix to Rome to Maurice Ravel in 1905.
Théodore Dubois was a prominent French composer, organist, theorist, and teacher in the mid- to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but he is perhaps better remembered for a monumental deficit in judgment than for his music itself. He was a staunch conservative, and as director of the Paris Conservatoire, he refused to award the Prix to Rome to Maurice Ravel in 1905; the outpouring of consternation among the public and among musicians led him to resign his position.
'… brimful with alert character and beauty whilst the two piano pieces are delightful in their raucous melodies … briliantly done by Tanyel' (Classical Net Review). It was brave and useful and laudable of Seta Tanyel and the now-defunct label Collins Classics to have embarked, in the 1990s, in a thorough exploration of the music of Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924), and one must be grateful to Hyperion to have reissued almost all of it. The 4-volume traversal of his solo piano music doesn't embrace I think Scharwenka's complete piano output, but it is still very substantial. Add to that the three first piano concertos (apparently Collins didn't live long enough to record the Fourth, and the first is the one disc that Hyperion did not reissue, Piano Concerto 1, obviously because they already had another one in their catalog, Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No. 4; Scharwenka: Piano Concerto No. 1) and what I think was the complete chamber music. However, I didn't always feel that the results lived up to the project's promises.
Naxos' album devoted to Carson Cooman's instrumental works, including symphonies, chamber music, and solos, represents an infinitesimal portion of his output; his opus numbers were in the 700s before he was out of his mid-twenties, and include pieces written in virtually every genre of Western music. Inevitably, there are some areas in which he will be stronger than others. His choral music is especially compelling: well written for the voice, with excellent text setting in a style that is not simple, but is also immediately engaging.
This is an excellent Rachmaninoff programme, taking us from the high romance of the relatively early Suite No. 1 to the composer’s last opus numbered work, the Symphonic Dances. The Suite No. 1 is a very fine work, and this duo plays gorgeously in that sighing third movement Les larmes. The spectacular finale, Pâques rings out spectacularly, the powerful tone of the well paired pianos delivering a remarkable listening experience.