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   Piano Concertos: February 2009 Archives

Master of Orchestral Texture

Timpani 1C1125

Vincent d'Indy

Symphony #1 "Italian" in A Major (1870-72)
Concerto in E Flat Major for Piano, Flute, Cello & Strings, Op. 89 (1926)

Brigitte Engerer, piano
Magali Mosnier, flute
Marc Coppey, cello
Orchestre de Bretagne/Lionel Bringuier
Timpani 1C1125 63:44

These works, the first and last orchestral works d'Indy wrote, are in different ways, hommages. Although his main musical sympathies lay elsewhere, a sojourn in Italy inspired the young composer to write a Symphonie italienne using Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples as the basis for the four movements in which the influence and model of Mendelssohn's Italian symphony are inescapable. At one point, I'm reminded incongruously of Randall Thompson's third symphony!

The concerto at first evokes J.S. Bach and eventually becomes a sort of neo-classical concerto grosso. This rarely-recorded music helps to round out our knowledge of the composer who to many would perhaps be known only by his Symphony on a French Mountain Air (Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français).

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[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]

Musical Talent Cut Short

Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG3350817-2

Norbert Burgmüller

Overture, Op. 5 (c. 1830)
Symphony #2 in D Major, Op. 11 (c. 1836)
Piano Concerto in F Sharp minor, Op. 1 (1829)

Leonard Hokanson, piano
Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra/Gernot Schmalfuss
Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG3350817-2 77:42

Burgmüller was the most talented of his family: his father and elder brother Friedrich were also composers. He suffered from an apparent lack of ambition and indifferent health, and is thought to have died of an epileptic seizure. His music was highly thought of by Mendelssohn and Schumann: these composers are evident influences, as is Schubert. The overture, which is fairly long for the period, was for an incomplete opera, and is quite dramatic. The piano concerto was in part a vehicle for establishing his reputation as a pianist and is reminiscent of Chopin and Hummel. The symphony has only three movements and was the composer's last work. Note that the label is known is some countries as either MD&G or Dabringhaus und Grimm.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]