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Piano Concertos Opp. 23 &151

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Product Details

  • Performer: Nzso, Grodd Hinterhuber
  • Composer: Ries
  • Audio CD (Nov. 15 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ncl
  • ASIN: B000BK53EM
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,288 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Allegro Con Moto
2. Larghetto Con Moto
3. Rondo: Allegro Molto
4. Allegro Con Spirito
5. Larghetto Quasi Andante
6. Rondo: Alegro Vivace

Product Description

The eight piano concertos of Beethoven' friend and pupil Ferdinand Ries stand alongside those of Hummel as the most important works of their kind from the early 19th Century. Intensely lyrical and yet displaying at times a rugged Beethovenian power, Ries'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f39e780) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f31c24c) out of 5 stars Some Surprises, All of Them Nice March 2 2006
By M. C. Passarella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The first surprise is the music. Not that it is unexpected for the time period--in fact one might expect the influence of Hummel to be heavy in piano concertos written in the first thirty or so years of the 19th century. No, the surprise is that Ferdinand Ries, whom even his teacher, Beethoven, said sounded too much like him, here doesn't sound very much like old Ludwig. This is especially surprising to me since the only concerto I'd heard by Ries, in a long-gone RCA recording by Felicja Blumenthal (I believe) sounded enough like Beethoven's Third Concerto to be a kissing cousin. Then again, some of the orchestral tutti in the concertos on this Naxos disc--especially in the Opus 123 Concerto (1806)--have a driven, almost demonic quality to them that recalls the older master. But the keyboard writing is clearly influenced by Hummel: it is busy, pearly stuff, with quite a few flashy runs and trills, pretty in its way and undoubtedly quite hard to play. While the writer of the notes to the recording says the Opus 151 (1826) anticipates Chopin, I'd say it simply suggests that early Chopin owes a debt to Hummel too. But whether this concerto looks forward to Chopin or not, it's a very attractive work, well put together and with some fine melodies.

The other surprise is the young, otherwise-unknown-to-me Viennese pianist Christopher Hinterhuber. He plays with the kind of dash and bravura we hear from a Stephen Hough. I certainly will be looking out for more of this young man's recordings. He's ably supported by Uwe Grodd--no surprise there since Grodd has shown himself on other Naxos discs to be an excellent conductor of works from the Classical period. This is a little later than his usual fare, including symphonies of Dittersdorf and Vanhal, though he does have a superb recording of Hummel choral works to his credit; I highly recommend that as well.

The New Zealand Symphony is a very competent body of musicians apparently and play with a robust tone in the more Beethovenian bits. The recording places them a little too much in the background, or maybe it captures Hinterhuber with such powerful, front-and-center clarity that the orchestra only seems a bit distant. In any event, it's a decent recording overall.

If you know and like Ries's symphonies or the piano concertos of Hummel, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as well by this disc.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f31c2a0) out of 5 stars Absolute Beautiful Music! April 3 2007
By JHM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This performance is simply outstanding! I especially like to hear seldom heard,obscure compositions and I must say, this one is very refreshing. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is extremely accomplished and the recorded sound is first rate. The piano soloist plays precise and musical. These two concertos, I have never heard but Ries sounds like a mixture of Mendelssohn and Chopin with simple but beautiful melodies. I believe he is a hidden gem and it would be great if there were more live performances of his gorgeous compositions. BUY THIS ONE!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f31c57c) out of 5 stars Pleasant Piano Concertos from the Early 1800s Dec 12 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) is remembered at all today it is probably due to his early biography of Beethoven (written with F. G. Wegeler) who had been his piano teacher. (He did not study composition with Beethoven, who sent him to Albrechtsberger for that purpose. However, he acted as Beethoven's copyist for several years and undoubtedly learned a lot from that.) He was a virtuoso pianist and skilled composer, writing much for the piano, as well as in other genres. He wrote eight piano concertos; the two here were composed about twenty years apart. The later of the two, the A Flat Concerto, Op. 151, written in 1826, occurs first on the CD. It sounds like a cross between Hummel and Mendelssohn in the outer movements. The Larghetto, though, has melodies very much like those written at about that same time by Bellini (and they anticipate those of Chopin in their florid songfulness). The concerto has a subtitle, 'Gruss an den Rhein,' in honor of the area of Germany where Ries had grown up and to which he had just returned from a sojourn in England. The piano writing in this concerto is very virtuosic and is handled with aplomb and musicianly skill by the young Austrian pianist, Christopher Hinterhuber.

The earlier Concerto in C Major, Op. 123 was written in 1806. It has more of the Hummelesque than the later concerto and although it is expertly done there is a fair amount of note-spinning and occasionally less than expert filling-in of accompanimental voices. Still, it has exciting and memorable outer movements notable for their bustling energy. The Larghetto is my favorite movement of all on this CD, largely because it reminds me a good deal of the middle movement of Mozart's D Minor Concerto, K. 488. Its main melody is classically lovely; we haven't yet come to the florid Bellini-like melody of the later concerto.

Hinterhuber is a marvelous technician in these difficult concertos and what's more he plays with musicianly proportion and phrasing. He is given excellent support by the fine New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under conductor Uwe Grodd. Sound is crystal clear, warm and life-like.

There have been some other recordings of music by Ries that have appeared in the last few years, including a complete survey of his valuable symphonies on cpo and a disc of chamber music on Naxos.


Scott Morrison
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f31ca98) out of 5 stars Another valuable contribution to the Early Romantic Concerto repertoire Oct. 19 2008
By Dexter Tay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was probably the first or second piece of music (other than his more famous Op. 55 concerto) I heard from Ries, before I discovered him later as the brilliant composer of piano sonatas. I was not too taken with these two works when I first heard them, especially with the early concerto. My subsequent rediscovery of his youthful piano sonatas (Op. 1, 9, and 11) led me to relisten and to reassess this very gifted composer for the piano.

I was duly rewarded after being favourably predisposed to his sonatas. The A flat concerto finds him in wonderful bloom, with a kind of spring-like efferverscence possibly infected by Field and which must have charmed Chopin as well. While his early sonatas display a certain homage to his master Beethoven, the A flat concerto composed in 1826, a year before Beethoven's death, is imbued with all the elements that the Viennese public must have already been accustomed to after being exposed to Hummel's groundbreaking romantic forays. Kalkbrenner, one of the foremost students of Hummel had already made his name; Ries while being the exact contemporary of Kalkbrenner, was by no means the more "advant-garde" of the two, even though his earlier sonatas speak of a language unknown to the musical public accustomed to the classicism of Mozart and Haydn when they were first published. Ries retained a sense of classicism just like Hummel, perhaps less classically poised, and providing a more direct link to Chopin and Schumman than Beethoven.

The A flat concerto opens slow but assuredly and expansively by the strings, as if one is totally immersed in the wonders of the Viennese woods in Spring. The winds and brass join and back the theme in regal force and the creative modulations and interplay of instruments provides an unconventional cadence for the piano's entry, very much similar to Ferdinand Hiller's third concerto. The development takes its cue from Hummel and Mozart. The ethereal second movement invokes the world of Field and is a direct anticipation of Chopin. The rambunctious third movement gets better with more hearings. There is little doubt that Hummel's last concerto in the same key composed three years later would have taken a cue from the work of his younger colleague.

The much earlier work, the C major concerto with a misleadingly late opus number is perhaps a tad too long, ambitious as it sounds, it seems to straddle between an attempt to move away from the sound world of Beethoven but remaining entrenched in it nevertheless.

The album alone is worth keeping and relistening for the masterly A flat concerto, which definitely deserves to be performed more regularly in the concerto repertoire.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f31c360) out of 5 stars My new favorite cd. June 29 2010
By 1flor1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am so happy to have this wonderful cd.I must confess to not knowing Ries's work before this,and i don't know how i missed it .The concertos are magnificent,and the piano work of Hinterhuber is strong and extraordinary.The music also soothes the savage breast,and my two pomchi pups lie quietly and listen with me.It is probably the only time they are calm and quiet!If you are reading this,let me say...go listen to a sample,particularly 2,3,and 6 and hear the calming loveliness yourself!