Louis-Ferdinand HÉROLD (1791-1833)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in A major (1813) [20:36]
Piano Concerto No. 4 in E minor (1813) [13:09]
Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat major (1811) [24:51]
Jean-Frederic Neuburger (piano)
Sinfonia Varsovia/Hervé Niquet
rec. Radio House, Polish Radio, Warsaw,16-18 May 2010. DDD
MIRARE MIR 127 [61:00]

Hérold studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Adam, Kreutzer and Méhul. He wrote four piano concertos before musical theatre captured his productive attention. It was in the sphere of light opera that he was to establish himself and that conventionally is where his strengths lay.

This music inhabits, with manifest comfort and naturalness of address, the world of early Beethoven. It possesses late classical drama but with a winsome counter-subject that is often Mozartean and sunny as in the first movement of No. 3 and showy in the sincere manner of Cramer and Hummel. Its blither progress chimes along with a sunny demeanour. The notes say the music is garrulous but everything flows with no friction or conflict and seems oiled by charm and innocence. All of that said these are three compact concertos with no fat or padding.

The producers omitted Piano Concerto No. 1 as its manuscript was so difficult to decipher. I wonder.

The trilingual notes are by Alexandre Dratwicki.

The disc is issued in Mirare's Musique Française series. I am looking forward to reviewing the Dubois volume.

Hérold;’s music undeniably possesses charm and innocence and it's deftly played. Congratulations all around including to whoever chose La Ronde by Victor Prouvé as the cover illustration for the digipack.

Rob Barnett

Charm and innocence deftly played.