Romantic Piano Concerto Vol. 25: Piano Concerto 1 & 2 / Modern Suite

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The ‘Romantic Piano Concerto’ reaches its quarter century with two concertos that suffer their neglect with the least justification; indeed it’s hard to see why MacDowell’s Second in particular isn’t up there with the Grieg as one of the most-loved nineteenth-century concertos. Edward MacDowell was the USA’s first truly major composer, but like his compatriots of the period he studied in Europe and his music stems from the nineteenth-century Germanic tradition. Both concertos are early works and the First was written while MacDowell was a student; it came to the attention of Liszt who thought very highly of it and arranged for its publication, and thus launched MacDowell’s career. The composer was a very fine pianist and this shows throughout both works, which abound in virtuosity clearly designed for maximum impact. This coupled with MacDowell’s melodic flair and a propensity for Scherzo-like movements results in two of the most immediately appealing works to have graced this series. The CD is completed with the ‘Second Modern Suite’ for solo piano (‘modern’ as opposed to Baroque), a work contemporary with the concertos where the composer creates a large-scale piece, which while less integrated than a sonata is nevertheless more than a collection of character pieces. We are delighted to welcome Seta Tanyel, who has already made many acclaimed recordings of neglected Romantic repertoire by Scharwenka and Moszkowski, on her debut with Hyperion.

Die Ausgabe Nr. 26 in der von Hyperion herausgegebenen Reihe der Klavierwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts präsentiert Werke von Edward MacDowell. Er wurde 1860 in Amerika geboren und studierte in Paris bei dem berühmten Lehrer Marmontel. Er wurde als Komponist und Pianist sehr von Liszt ermutigt, dessen Einfluss bei dem Verfassen von extrem schwierigen virtuosen Stücken für Klavier und bei den Schicksalsmotiven dieser beiden Konzerte deutlich zu spüren ist. Leider ist das erste Konzert — das während der Studentenzeit MacDowells überhastet komponiert wurde — ein wenig enttäuschend; und selbst bei dem zweiten wesentlich besseren Konzert erscheint die musikalische Sprache seltsam unpersönlich.

Seta Tanyel spielt jedoch fantastisch mit Leidenschaft, Temperament, Gespür und schöner Klangfarbe, und ihr gefühlvolles und extrovertiertes Klavierspiel macht aus der Second Modern Suite (eigentlich gar nicht so modern für 1881) das beste Stück auf dieser CD. Anhänger dieser verblüffend erfolgreichen Reihe von Hyperion mit Klaviermusik der Romantik sollten keinen Augenblick zögern, sich diese neueste Ausgabe zu beschaffen. –Jessica Duchen

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‘Vol. 25 in this Hyperion series deserves to become a best-seller’ (Hi-Fi News) ‘The piano writing exudes scintillation and brilliance and seems custom-made for Seta Tanyel’s lush, colourful sonority and effortless leggiero fingerwork’ (International Record Review) ‘Technically impeccable … vivid and well produced’ (Gramophone) ‘[Tanyel] can totally identify with this kind of post-Lisztian lyric bravura style’ (BBC Music Magazine) ‘The Piano Concerto No 2 is a barnstorming, big-hearted, tune-filled warhorse of a piece that audiences would love if they heard it’ (Punch) ‘Seta Tanyel’s thoughtful and richly coloured new performances make a distinguished addition to the catalog … a winner. Strongly recommended’ –Fanfare, USA

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Specification: Romantic Piano Concerto Vol. 25: Piano Concerto 1 & 2 / Modern Suite




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