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  • Gounod: Complete Works For Piano & Orchestra [Roberto Prosseda, Howard Shelley] [Hyperion: CDA67975]
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Gounod: Complete Works For Piano & Orchestra [Roberto Prosseda, Howard Shelley] [Hyperion: CDA67975]


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Frequently Bought Together

Gounod: Complete Works For Piano & Orchestra [Roberto Prosseda, Howard Shelley] [Hyperion: CDA67975] + The Romantic Piano Concerto [Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley, Howard Shelley] [Hyperion: CDA67950] + Dubois: Romantic Piano Concerto [ Cédric Tiberghien, Andrew Manze] [Hyperion: CDA67931]
Price For All Three: £39.75

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Product details

  • Conductor: Howard Shelley
  • Composer: Charles Gounod
  • Audio CD (4 Nov. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00FBE9470
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,363 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Suite concertante in A major
2. Concerto for pedal piano in E flat major
3. Fantaisie sur lhymne national russe
4. Danse roumaine

Product Description

Product Description

Roberto Prosseda, piano à pédalier - Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana - Howard Shelley, direction

Review

This release is certainly 'off the beat' but it is definitely worth exploring. --IRR, Nov'13

Gounod's box of bonbons is an unexpected delight. --Gramophone, Dec'13

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm U on 6 Nov. 2013
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I must confess that I purchased this CD out of curiosity. I've given it five stars because it is a most enjoyable disc and surprisingly original. Up until last week I'd never heard of a pedal piano. Robert Prosseda plays with great enthusiasm and Howard Shelley conducts the Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana with similar gusto. The Suite Concertante and the Concerto have some beautiful melodies. The Fantasy and the Danse Roumaine call for much pianistic dexterity. The listener realizes that there is a subtle different between the sound made by an ordinary piano and that of a pedal piano. All round this is a superb addition to Hyperion's "the Romantic Piano Concerto." Not only is it pleasurable to hear, but it's also fun.
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Gounod isn't a composer one primarily associates with orchestral or instrumental music, the two early symphonies aside, but this enterprising and enjoyable release from Hyperion proves to be a real winner. The music itself, written to showcase the pedal piano - a curious hybrid beast with a separate keyboard played by the feet, which Schumann apparently (and erroneously) believed would replace the regular piano - and inspired by a particular practitioner of the instrument hails from relatively late in Gounod's career and is more obviously of the Romantic period than the two symphonies idiomatically; that said, though, there are echoes of the Classical period throughout both the suite and the concerto - the structural concision of both these works, for example, or the "hunting music" of the suite's second movement (a common trope in the High and Late Classical era). There are even a few nods in Beethoven's direction in the rhetorical gestures of the concerto's opening `Allegro moderato', which the liner notes describe as being in the "heroic style", but to approach these works expecting the pyrotechnics of a Liszt concerto or the large-scale symphonic canvases of Brahms or Tchaikovsky is surely to set oneself up for disappointment: the primary aim of this music seems to be to charm and delight the listener, the keyboard writing elegant and effervescent by turns obviously designed to emphasise the slightly drier, more clipped sound of the unusual solo instrument.

And charm all of this music amply does to my ears. It would be a hard heart indeed that didn't respond to the flowing rhythmic and melodic momentum of `Entrée de fete', the movement that opens the disc (and the suite) or the vivacious tarantella that concludes this tuneful work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eddy Rivers on 27 Nov. 2013
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Until this disc appeared it is doubtful whether anyone had heard of the pedal piano. Roberto Prosseda plays it superbly, well accompanied by Howard Shelley as the orchestras' conductor. These are rarely played works by a great composer. Well done Hyperion for producing this disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Brooks on 14 Jan. 2014
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Not surprisingly there are few of these recordings, the so called pedal piano being a Steinway with legs hacked off ,and lying at the feet of pianist so he/she can play a Steinway and the other underneath as an organ pedal-boared. This recording is fine,though one is waiting for the pianist to succumb,he does not here.The music is melodious indeed
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By St. James on 14 Nov. 2013
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This is one of the most enjoyable discs I have heard this year. All of the music on the disc was written by Gounod for the pédalier, a keyboard with an extra doubling bass played on a pedal board, to be performed by Lucie Palicot, one of those gifted nineteenth century French women pianists who are now forgotten.

The two main works, the Suite Concertante and the Concerto, are gems. I must have listened to the first movement of the Suite at least thirty times in the last few days, captivated by its grace and polish. The Concerto, especially the last two movements, speak the same harmonic language as Saint-Saens and Moskowski (in one of his less bubbly moods), and leave one smiling in delight--and tapping the replay button. Howard Shelley's spacious conducting lets lots of the orchestra's players share in the fun--the various instrumental lines all stand out nicely, allowing us to admire and enjoy them.

Roberto Prosseda's playing is lovely and his liner note ("A note on the pedal piano") about how he was introduced to the Concerto score by the musicologist Gérard Condé (who writes the main liner notes as well as being the author of an excellent biography of Gounod) is fascinating: Prosseda liked the score so much that he bought a pédalier to teach himself the pedal technique for the work which, he says, is quite different--more subtle--than that required for organ.

The other works are fun as well, but perhaps do not have the length or emotional exposition of the Concerto or Suite--they are more in the way of encore pieces.
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