Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

Piano Concerto in D,
Hob XVIII/11
Piano Concerto in F
Piano Concierto de Tenerife, for Piano and Large Orchestra

Warren Thew (Piano)
Camerata Zurich/Räto Tschupp
Rec. Alstetten Church; Zurich 29 & 31 January 1972 (Haydn) and January 1976 (Kuhn - day not stated)
GUILD GMCD 7206 [59.12]
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The two Haydn piano concertos played here are probably the best of Haydn's music in this format and appear to be well documented as being written by the Master himself. They are well played by Warren Thew and the orchestra who adopt a forthright attitude which results in the works sounding akin to early Beethoven. This works well and listening to these two concertos is a pleasant experience although the composer here does not produce such memorable tunes as he does in so many of his symphonies. Haydn, unlike Mozart, was not a professional concert pianist and this probably accounts for his relative lack of interest in keyboard concertos.

Max Kühn was born in Zurich in April 1896 and was active in that city as composer, organist, conductor and as a Teacher at the Zurich Music Academy. He died in 1994. The Concerto for Tenerife for piano and large orchestra was written in that island in 1961-2. It has three short movements and is a lyrical piece with contrapuntal episodes. The first movement is dramatic in style and leads to an intense second movement. The final movement is based on a rhythmic dance with a touch of Spain about it. It is an attractive work which forms an interesting contrast to the two Haydn Concertos.

The recordings were made in the 1970s and although good for their period are not outstanding. In particular, the Kühn concerto does not sound as if it is being played by a "large orchestra" (perhaps it wasn't). The cover picture is an artistic representation of the second movement of the Concerto. The documentation relating to Max Kühn, his concerto and also the pianist is fascinating and there is a brief exposition on the Haydn concertos.

Arthur Baker.

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