On this recording, Paul Lewis performs two major works of the keyboard repertoire. Decidedly programmatic, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is more commonly heard today in Ravel's orchestral version. However, the original for solo piano is both a technical tour-de-force and a brilliant example of the composer's coloristic gifts. The pairing is Schumann's Fantaisie Op.17, a work whose movements originally had evocative titles (Ruin, Triumphal Arch, Constellation). The 'program' was removed before publication, but the 'pictures' Schumann intended listeners to imagine remain.
The Hanover Band is a period instrument chamber orchestra based in Sussex, England. It attracted much attention early on for its individual performance style, which often puzzled critics and created controversy. Certain recordings, the Beethoven nine symphonies in particular, have managed to generate both awards and sharp criticism.
If you'd like to access the full scope of Alkan's quirky style in bite-sized proportions rather than piling into the Concerto for Solo Piano, Les Quartre Ages, and other large-scale concoctions, here's a disc for you. Esquisses (Sketches) contains 49 piano miniatures, each lasting from 43 seconds to a little more than four minutes. Alkan apparently composed these over a 15-year span. He eventually partitioned the collection into four volumes, arranged according to key sequence.
This CD collects three different recordings from different occasions and with different artists as well: Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, op. 14, the Cello concerto, op. 22, and the Piano concerto, op. 38. The Violin concerto features Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a classic 1964 performance - still the one to have despite Hahn's hailed recording……L. Johan @ Amazon.com
"Violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel and pianist Juhani Lagerspetz perform the many moods of these works for violin and piano with fervor and commitment. If you’re looking for a disc of beautiful late Romantic music for violin and piano, this CD is an excellent choice." Robert Moon, Classical CD reviews.
"Naturalness & sparkle are trump: Boccherini's quiet humor & fine-honed technique are heard at their best." FonoForum 6/95