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V42 Romantic Pno Cto


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1. Allegro Moderato
2. Lento
3. Allegro Assai (Tempo Di Valse)
4. Allegro Non Troppo
5. Andante
6. Allegro Non Assai

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Following in Grieg's Footsteps July 17 2007
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Piano Concerti on this disc represent an antidote to the Grieg concerto by two obscure Norwegian composers. Both Eyvind Alnaes and Christian Sinding were forced to write more marketable popular songs instead of what might be termed "serious" compositions, and both were able to write a single piano concerto during their lives. Christian Sinding's concerto was written in 1889 and was revised in 1901 (which is played on this recording). It struck me as a grand work following in the footsteps of Grieg but not incorporating any of the folk melodies that the older composer user; Sinding was much more cosmopolitan in his outlook and was influenced by Liszt and Wagner. The three movements of Sinding's concerto are connected by thematic relationships. In the second movement, described by critics of the time as "Nordic," a solo horn presents the main theme of the first movement and goes on in a dreamy character. The final movement has a more heroic character and is darker in character, somewhat like Sibelius.

The Concerto of Eyvind Alnaes, written in the Romantic style of Anton Rubinstein and Sergei Rachmaninov, has an immediate appeal for the brilliant melodies and virtuoso piano writing. The concerto is scored for a large orchestra that includes eight horns, four trumpet, two tubas and six trombones. The first movement comes close to sounding like a mini-tone poem with a passionate theme played by the full orchestra alternating with quieter, more reflective passages. The middle movement is written as a funeral march but it is not entirely somber: the music has a triumphant middle section before returning to the mournful theme; then, with a roll of timpani, the final waltz movement begins; a charming mixture of popular tunes woven together with a brilliant piano part.

The Alnaes concerto is immediately accessible while I found the Sinding concerto required more hearings to appreciate but Piers Lane does a magnificent job playing these demanding works and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with Andrew Litton make excellent partners. The recording, as one expects from Hyperion, is nicely balanced and clear.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Romantic Potboilers Jan. 22 2008
By Oldnslow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
For those who like their piano concertos with filled big tunes and grand gestures (think Rachmaninoff and Grieg) these two concerti fit the bill perfectly. Thoroughly enjoyable, if little known, works by "minor" composers, that are wonderfully played. Five stars for the music, three for the recording, which seems to me a little congested and not quite up to Hyperion's usual high standard.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Definitely one of the hidden gems in the Hyperion series April 29 2012
By sergei kochkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With few exceptions I have been rating the romantic piano and violin concertos (66) in the 4 star range. Yes they are pleasant, beautiful and all worth listening to. But most are simply not memorable being tier 2 concertos. But the concertos by these Norwegian composers have the romance, power, virtuosity, and thematic beauty which have caused us to revere but only a dozen or so piano concertos; witness what is usually played at classical concerts. These two stand out from the Hyperion pack as forgotten and hidden gems that you will listen to many times.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hugely enjoyable music in spirited performances Oct. 21 2010
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series continues unabated with some indisputable gems. Eyvind Alnæs (1872-1932) is at the time of writing relatively well represented on disc - there are not many releases, but Alnæs was not a particularly prolific composer (Simax has recorded several of his songs (and some are featured in Kirsten Flagstad recitals - even Chaliapin recorded one), and Sterling has his two symphonies). His piano concerto is lavishly romantic in a style reminiscent of Grieg and Tchaikovsky, but containing a welter of features typical of the late romantics of his generation (lush scoring and dramatic gestures, sufficiently airy to avoid clogging up). It is a really fine work, consisting of an eventful Allegro moderato, a wonderfully dreamy Lento and a catchy waltz-like finale with a genuinely memorable main theme.

The overall effect is of a work that is not only poetic, dramatic, spirited and memorable, but also disarmingly charming. It is played with a combination of skill, spirit and utmost refinement by Piers Lane - a wonderful performance - and backed up by a Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra that has clearly come to love the score as much as any listener with a penchant for this kind of repertoire will. An excellent addition to the catalogue.

Christian Sinding (1856-1941) is better known than Alnæs, and his concerto has at least retained a toehold on the repertoire in Norway (if nowhere else). His concerto is more obviously indebted to Wagner and Liszt (and is far less obviously `Norwegian' than the Alnæs), but is also less immediately appealing. It is surely well made and contains some good ideas, but the whole work comes across as a little dense and even tiresome. Still, Lane and Litton make it work pretty convincingly, making it sound more spirited and coherent than one could reasonably have feared. The Hyperion sound is clear and well-balanced (but is it slightly more two-dimensional than on some releases from this source?). Is it too much to hope that Hyperion will some day look into the five very much romantic piano concertos of Halfdan Cleve (1879-1951)?
two worth hearing . . . especially Sinding April 17 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series fulfills an important cultural function, and the company needs to be commended for giving us recordings, in sound that that is never less than adequate and sometimes much better than that, of material that could slip away from all but academic musicologists and that can give us pleasure even as we recognize that better music becomes canonical for a reason. I believe that we appreciate the better stuff more when we hear it in context of music that is accomplished and worthy of respect without being totally compelling. On this disc, the Sinding comes closer to being compelling. The first movement has well-integrated thematic material, and the piano and orchestra seem to be in a more meaningful relationship than is the case with the first movement of the Alnaes concerto. With Alnaes, the music wanders a bit, with the orchestra making heroic gestures that the piano responds to usually with lyric rippling -- not unpleasant, but there isn't a clear sense of direction. The Alnaes slow movement, characterized in the liner notes as "tragic" seems more darkly sober to me. But the movement has coherence and piano and orchestra contribute to an overall unity of expression. Sinding's first gesture in his slow movement follows from a theme in the first movement and goes on to become a kind of Ballad-like narrative, with a Sibelian tone-poem feel to it. It's very effective and moving, and it ends with a lovely brief cello solo that takes up material that the piano and orchestra have been developing. That ballad-like atmosphere continues into the final movement, where the intensity is ramped up with the tempo and where the pianist has a cadential passage late in the movement that is totally in keeping with the prevailing atmosphere -- so that one comes away from the Sinding concerto with a feeling of its overall development and emotional and musical coherence. The Alnaes third movement is the best, I think, in his concerto, but it has little to do with what has gone before: it's a waltz with, to me, a Spanish flavor, and the orchestra and piano both have fun with it. One leaves the Alnaes concerto feeling that it's more of a suite than a unified piece, but nonetheless pleasant all the same.

Piers Lane plays well, but I wish the engineers could have given him warmer sound. The orchestra too is not ideally recorded, its sound seeming a bit homogenous at times. It could have more presence and detail, along with a warmer image. Not bad sound -- but Hyperion has done better. For all that, though, an interesting issue.


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