Pianist David Breitman writes of his new release of Beethoven music for piano and cello: “I first became interested in historical keyboards as a piano student in Boston in the 1970s. Boston was then, and is still, an early music centre, and I had frequent opportunities to hear renaissance and baroque ensembles in concert. I eventually decided to take some harpsichord lessons with Robert Hill, freshly returned from Amsterdam where he had been studying with Gustav Leonhardt."
This symphony probably may not have changed musical history from the moment it was first written, in Salzburg in early 1774 by the 18-year-old Mozart. But it crystallises the young man’s emerging compositional self-confidence, and that shows him spreading his wings in symphonic music just as he had already started to do in the opera house and in his chamber music.
This disc of Philip Glass' Tirol Concerto for piano and orchestra is among the first wave of releases from Orange Mountain Music, a label started by Kurt Munkacsi and Don Christensen out of their attempt to archive the master tapes of Glass' music. Most of the releases slated to appear are of older recordings, including many that have not been heard before. But the Tirol Concerto for piano and orchestra dates only from 2000 and was recorded in 2002.
In the 1950s these recordings would have given a very up-to-date impression, I imagine; the playing is extremely clean there's never a hint of sentimental violin slides or over-use of the sustaining pedal. But nearly half a century later, perhaps we're more conscious of the old-world virtues Schneiderhan's beautiful legato bowing and gentle vibrato, Kempff's full, unforced tone, and a flexible approach from both artists, with finely graded ritardandos and subtle variations of tempo.
The chamber music of pianist-composer Anton Eberl (1765–1807) is one of the undiscoveredsecrets of Viennese Classicism. At the beginning of his career Eberl had to put up with the doubtful flattery of seeing some of hisworks published under the name of Mozart (who was a friend and supporter) – and with Mozart’s knowledge.
Traditionalists may rue the day, but the historical performance movement has come to Chopin, and it's clear it has a lot to offer in this release by Argentine pianist Nelson Goerner and the veteran Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century under Frans Brüggen. Goerner plays an 1849 Erard instrument, some 20 years younger than the music of the youthful Chopin that's on the program, but arguably representative of a sound ideal he would have had in his head.