MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount


Support us financially by purchasing this from
The Operatic Pianist
Giuseppe MARTUCCI (1856-1909)
Concert fantasy on Verdi’s La Forza del Destino [8:51]
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835)
A te. O cara, from I Puritani, transcribed Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871) [5:40]
Casta diva, from Norma, transcribed Sigismund Thalberg [6:25]
Andrew WRIGHT (b.1967)
Fantasy on Bellini’s La Sonnambula [8:00]
Thalbergiana [6:25]
Concert Fantasy on Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable [5:22]
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Recitative and Romance: O, du mein holder Abendstern, from Tannhäuser, transcribed Franz Liszt (1811-1886) [7:42]
Isolde’s Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde, transcribed Franz Liszt [7:48]
Sigismund THALBERG (1812-1871)
Concert fantasy on Verdi’s La Traviata [8:26]
Andrew Wright (piano)
rec. September 2012, Reid Hall, Edinburgh
DIVINE ART DDA 25113 [64:48]

The focus of this challengingly virtuosic disc is Andrew Wright, a lover and exponent of the Romantic era, and one whose appreciation of nineteenth-century piano transcription saturates the programme. There’s something of the Klaviertiger about him, something too of an element of the pianistic throwback. Given his espoused repertoire and his contribution to it, one feels as if he is situating himself in the continuum of that tradition; thus hyphenated Wright takes its place alongside hyphenated Liszt and Thalberg, and that represents something of a Himalayan challenge to Wright’s credentials. It’s a measure of his aplomb that his own transcriptions fail to wilt even in the glare of such declamatory historic precedent.
He finds the drama and pathos in Martucci’s concert paraphrase on Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, complete with a fine admixture of filigree and Lisztian panache. This is, apparently, its first commercial recording. Thalberg’s transcriptions of the two Bellini pieces are interesting, revealing different sides to his musical personality. A te, o cara from I Puritani is the first in Thalberg’s instructive set of vocal melodies rearranged for piano, called L’art du chant appliqué au piano, Op.70 The Casta diva paraphrase is a lovely, warmly hued work and receives a commensurately fine performance. It too derives from the Op.70 set but is more intricately deployed with the melody lines skittering from hand to hand. The La Traviata concert fantasy is a later work, cross-pollinated by Lisztian influence but containing gravity and refinement as well as virtuosic power.
Wright plays the Wagner-Liszt O, du mein holder Abendstern from Tannhäuser with dynamism, respecting Liszt’s unusually non-interventionist approach but for all the bravura there is also an awareness of the sheer musical refinement involved, qualities amplified in the Liebestod. Andrew Wright’s own fantasies sit co-operatively in the genre. The Fantasy on Bellini’s La Sonnambula bows to both Liszt and Thalberg as inspirations and fuses them into a conception that relishes the powerhouse drama as well as the refined moments of elegance enshrined in it. The bass detonations are certainly vivid. Stand by! Thalbergiana is a tribute to the great man which was partly inspired by Earl Wild’s recording of Thalberg’s Don Pasquale fantasy. And lastly there is the verve and panache to be relished in Wright’s unbridled Concert Fantasy on Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable.
These spirited readings receive good recorded sound and Wright’s own notes cap his recital with insightful commentary.
Jonathan Woolf