Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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Ignaz MOSCHELES (1794-1870)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1818) [22.18]
Piano Concerto No. 6 Fantastique (1834) [16.59]
Piano Concerto No. 7 Pathétique (1835) [22.17]
Howard Shelley (piano)
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
rec. ABC Odeon, Hobart, Tasmania, 30 Aug-2 Sept 1999 DDD
Romantic Piano Concerto vol. 32
HYPERION CDA67385 [61.49]


The Moscheles of the 1818 concerto instantly announces himself as a Mozart disciple. The style is best likened to the Mozart of concertos 20, 23, 24, 25 and 26. Moscheles laces the perfection of elegance and regret with cheeky spirited confidence as in the Rondo finale of the first concerto. Twenty years later in the other two concertos the ebullience and gentle ardour have moved very close to Schumann. However there is something distinctively personal in the magically unpredictable and elusive andante as well as in the tempestuous allegro and vivace of the Fantastique. There are some brilliantly effective musical gestures such as the solo line from 00.53-1.38 in the vivace finale. The same can be said of the first movement of the overcast first movement of the Pathétique which is Bohemian and storm-pent. This style is familiar from Mendelssohn as in the Ruy Blas or Fair Melusine overtures. After a skittish allegro agitato comes an allegro con brio which is touched with the grace phrases we expect from early Beethoven.

Prague born, this pupil of Albrechstberger and Salieri rubbed shoulders with Hummel and Beethoven. He spent twenty one years in London, taught Mendelssohn in Berlin, and ultimately spent many years as professor of the piano in the Leipzig Conservatory. Moscheles prepared the piano reduction of Beethoven's Fidelio.

These are by no means the ‘glitter and surface’ affairs you might have expected. This is supremely fashioned entertainment with a touch of pathos along the way. They will appeal to lovers of the concertos by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Beethoven.

Vintage romantic piano concertos leaning on Mozart as an exemplar in the case of the First and Schumann and Mendelssohn for numbers 6 and 7. These are freshly performed and directed by Howard Shelley and well documented by Henry Roche. No need for Hyperion to do anything other than hold their heads high over this one.

Rob Barnett


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