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If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

This disc is listed as discontinued by Amazon and does not appear on the Husum website even though earlier recordings still do. If you are interested I suggest you e-mail from that website
Homepage of the Husum Piano Festival:
www.piano-festival-husum.de

Rarities of Piano Music - Schloss vor Husum 2004 Festival - vol. 16
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)

Capriccio in G major, Hob. XVII/1 (1765) [6:55]
Edna Stern, piano
Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) arr. Franz LISZT

Meine Freuden [4:20]
Salvatore SCIARRINO (b. 1947)

Anamorfosi (1980) [1:39]
Eugene GOOSSENS (1893-1962)

The Punch and Judy Show Op. 18/6 [0:38]
Marc-André Hamelin - piano
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)

Thème varié (1951) [12:54]
Anatol Ugorski - piano
Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961)

Ramble on the love-duet from Richard Strauss's `Der Rosenkavalier' (1927) [8:26]
Igor Kamenz - piano
Joseph MARX (1882-1964)

Schmetterlingsgeschichten (world première recording): I Praeambulum [1:06]; II Von der Waldglockenblume [1:12]; III Von alter Sehnsucht [2:54]
Jonathan Powell, piano
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) arr. J. S. BACH

Concerto in D major BWV 972 (from Vivaldi Concerto Op. 3/9 RV 230) [10:44]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)

Tarentelle (Dargomizhsky) S.483 (1879) [5:04]
Boris Bloch, piano
Cèsar CUI (1835-1918)

Far niente Op. 10/2 (1887) [9:50]
Elena Kuschnerova, piano
Zygmunt STOJOWSKI (1870-1946)

Caprice orientale Op 10/2 [3:59]
Sergei BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952)

Etude D flat major Op 15/8 [4:43]
A. HARRINGTON GIBBS (1895-1956) arr. Art TATUM

Runnin' Wild [1:45]
Jonathan Plowright, piano
Rec. live Husum Festival, Germany, 2004. DDD
DANACORD DACOCD 649 [79:04]


Bless the good burghers of Husum and the enterprising Peter Froundjian and Jesper Bühl of Danacord. 2004 saw the sixteenth annual Husum Festival of Piano Music Rarities. As with the previous Husum festivals Danacord have now issued a disc to mark the event. If you have any of the rest of them then you will know that the pianists who have perform at Husum bring with them rarities to dust off and hold up to an appreciative light.

The Belgian pianist Edna Stern despatches the Haydn Capriccio in lively fashion with the composer seeming to allude to Beethoven at one moment and Mozart the next. Boris Bloch's Vivaldi arr. J.S. Bach is similarly poised and clean-limbed although the central movement recalls calming pieces such as Schnittke's Spiegel im Spiegel. By contrast Bloch dusts of Dargomizhky's arrangement of Liszt's Tarentelle. Which came first I wonder? This Dargomizhky/Liszt display piece or Balakirev's Islamey. There are resemblances.

Hamelin is well enough known to us. His Chopin arr. Liszt is sumptuous without languor and contrasts with the pluvial drip and swirl of Anamorfosi by Sciarrino - a transmogrification of Singin’ in the Rain. Goossens' Punch and Judy Show (from the suite Kaleidoscope) is taken at giddy player-piano velocity and ends with a grin that clearly delighted the audience. Ugorski, with his magical impact-softened touch, gives us a predominantly dreamy and contented Poulenc Thème Varié although the composer has the piece ending in Rachmaninovian majesty.

Igor Kamenz leads us un-rushed through the Grainger's 1927 Ramble on 'Der Rosenkavalier'. True to form Grainger again confirms his status as a master of transcription, sentimentality and fantasy. Just listen to the crystalline whisper at 2.09 and 7'17 as the Presentation of the Rose music conjures a silvery aura. Delian and stretching languidly in the welcoming sun is Cui's 1887 Far Niente - dolce indeed.

It is typical of Jonathan Powell that his recital should have included sonatas by Stanchinsky, Feinberg and Szymanowski. However he is recorded here in the world premiere of Joseph Marx's three Schmetterlingsgeschichten (Butterfly Stories). The complete sequence takes just about five minutes. These are impressionistic pieces in Marx's best warm luxuriant manner often characterised by quietly chiming music rounded with filigree flourishes.

Jonathan Plowright's collection is also stimulating. He has already recorded both Stojowski concertos for Hyperion (excellent too though not high art!) so the presence of his Caprice Orientale in a stormy inferno of acceleration and becalming. It again recalls Islamey (1.12). Anything by Bortkiewicz is going to be worth hearing. We really need a complete Bortkiewicz Edition including the four piano concertos and the concertos for cello and violin. Here the Etude in D flat major is alive with turbulence and reeks with hyper-romantic fin-de-siècle gestures. You might here think of Bortkiewicz as in the same league as Medtner but without the poetic complexity. Plowright rounds out the disc with A Harrington Gibbs' arr Art Tatum in Runnin' Wild in which the pianist delights in stride piano - a whirlwind roller-coaster of a piece.

Husum sets the unhackneyed agenda again. Let's wish the festival a long life. The foundations they lay today are built on by other companies tomorrow. For variety and for that 'surprised by delight' experience do try this disc or any of the other Husum Danacord collection.

Rob Barnett



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