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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Pleyel: a newly discovered gem Feb. 15 2006
By John Wiesenmeyer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ignaz Pleyel? Who is that? Such was my reaction. I heard a brief clip of Pleyel, from this album, on the radio, managed to be lucky and have the tape rolling. Playing it back, I thought this is really good stuff. Took a chance and bought the CD. No regrets. I'm rather fussy and hard to please when it comes to music albums, but I must say that there is not a single track from this disk I've deleted from my playlist. Pleyel was a pupil of Haydn, so don't be too surprised if you find some similarities. This is definitely not what I like to call "sing-song" music; tracks that don't seem to go anywhere. Each track has a personality, and shows a lot of creative spark. The Zurich Chamber Orchestra that performs here does a nice job. I'm very satisfied with this purchase, and saved some money as well, compared with what one would have to spend at a local store. My suggestion: give this Ignaz Pleyel a listen. Any lover of classical music will be surprised, especially if you are not familiar with this fine composer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pleyel seems to be getting his due these days, finally, with recordings like this one from 2002 Feb. 25 2015
By John J. Puccio - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If the music sounds like Haydn or Mozart, don't be surprised. Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831) was a contemporary of those men, and, perhaps surprisingly, in his day people thought he might be greater than Mozart and the successor to Haydn. OK, if you are an enthusiastic classical-music fan, you already know that.

Pleyel was a prominent figure in his time, a French composer and piano builder born in Austria, a pupil of Joseph Haydn, and the prolific writer of some fifty classical symphonies and a ton of other stuff before retiring from music into the world of business. Today he's all but forgotten except in occasional recordings like this one that, alas, I would guess few people will have even heard of. Nevertheless, this 2002 recording could still make Pleyel a few new friends. His music may be outdated but not any the less fun.

The three works on the album are his Symphony in D major, Op. 3; his Second Symphonie Concertante for Violin, Piano, and Orchestra; and his Sixth Symphonie Periodique. These from a man who wrote more symphonies than Mozart. Yet by the end of his lifetime his critics were calling his music old-fashioned, lightweight, and facile, the emerging style of Beethoven having swept the Continent. Well, Pleyel is lightweight, no doubt, but for modern listeners that may be his strongest suit. The fact is, there isn't much going on in Pleyel's music that we can't anticipate before ever hearing it, yet one can say much the same thing of most other composers of the Baroque and Classical periods.

Anyway, of the three works represented here, I preferred the Symphony Concertante best, it being a sort of minor-league Mozart violin-and-piano concerto. It has zip and zest and all manner of wit and humor about it, with violinist Jakub Dzialak and pianist Riccardo Bovino playing their hearts out as if it were, indeed, Beethoven; and Howard Griffiths and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra give them splendid support.

What's more, CPO do their part, too, by providing a good, open acoustic and reasonably well detailed sonics; fairly strong dynamics; a modicum of hall warmth and bloom; and a realistic dimensionality to the presentation. True, the music may sound imitative, but for me it was worth hearing.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Worthy Contemporary of Haydn and Mozart May 7 2015
By A Guy in Aiken - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a long-time fan of music from the classical era, I was thrilled to recently discover this jewel of a composer. Pleyel's music reminds me of early Haydn and Mozart. I now own six CDs of his music and have played them over and over without tiring of them. If you like Haydn and Mozart, do yourself a favor and try a Pleyel CD.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
One word- Mozart Feb. 8 2009
By S. Hansen - Published on
Format: Audio CD
While I have enjoyed exploring CPO's catalogue, this album suprised me when compared to the samples I heard elsewhere. No matter how much I've listened to the CD, the only thing that comes into my head to describe it is, again, Mozart. Not bad Mozart, pretty good Mozart actually, but, Mozart nonetheless. It's not that Pleyel has lifted passages from him, it's just that the tone and style is just so overwhelmingly like Mozart's as to to be, by my ears anyway, virtually indistinguishable. The effect is by no means unpleasant and I'll certainly continue to play it from time to time, but it is very derivative.