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Piano Concerto No. 1; Symphon


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The English composer John Gardner has been largely neglected, in spite of his prolific output. His career began with great promise before the war, to be resumed gradually afterwards, but seldom with the success he seemed to deserve. This recording should

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Introduction to a fine composer. Nov. 24 2009
By Hayward H. Siegel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the premier recording for the compositions contained on this CD. Hopefully, Gardner's music will become more popular, so more people can be exposed to some great music. The recording begins with a lively and joyful overture called "Midsummer Ale". It will put you in a happy-go-lucky mood, so you can enjoy the next composition on the CD, his Piano Concerto No. 1. The 1st movement consists of constant interplay between the solo piano and the orchestra. Unlike most piano concertos, there is no piano cadenza in the 1st movement. The 2nd movement starts tranquilly, but becomes energetic. There are periods in this movement where the solo piano and orchestra appear to duel with each other. The piano cadenza is found in this movement. The 3rd movement is lively, with playful themes. The solo piano and orchestra work together, to develop the themes, in this movement. The Symphony No. 1 is superbly orchestrated. The various instruments and sections of the orchestra blend together, to create beautiful music. The 1st movement will remove any feeling of joy, which you might have had, after listening to the previous compositions. The music is somber and melancholy, at times peaceful and at times dramatic. You will be reminded of the feeling of loss after a death, because the music will sound like a funeral possession at times. However, the mood of sadness will quickly change at the start of the 2nd movement. This movement is a happy-sounding and dancelike scherzo. The trio section sounds of folk songs. Movement No. 3 is melodic and tranquil for the most part, and will get you into a peaceful mood. This mood will also change, with the start of the 4th movement, which contains more energetic music, and begins and ends triumphantly. Buy this CD. The name of the composer might not be familiar, but you certainly will remember his name, after you hear the music.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Real Find May 27 2011
By Hegelian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is some of the best British music you never heard of. The symphony is very well done, but the Piano Concerto is even better. Despite the cover art, this is not more English pastoral music. Fans of the piano concertos of Bartok and Prokofiev will enjoy this.
Historical Recording - Sept. 21 2011
By Avatar1940 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have tried to find a recording of John Gardner's piano concerto no 1 and Symphony no 1 in D minor and until now they seem to mot exist. Gardner's work has been neglected long enough and perhaps we will hear more recording soon. Though not my favorite concerto, the CD is a wonderful addition to any collection.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Pleasant, forgettable April 11 2008
By Jeff Dunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
John Gardner has written some nice music, e.g., his flute concerto (John Gardner: Symphony No. 3; Flute Concerto), but the contents of this album don't measure up. His first symphony, piano concerto and overture are generic and undistinguished, worth one but not more listenings. Best is the slow movement of the symphony.

For music of like style but superior quality, try George Dyson: Violin Concerto; Children's Suite.


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