This 58th volume of the Romantic Piano Concerto series presents two composer-pianists who contributed to Liszts piano extravaganza Hexaméron (1837). Thalberg (who would be celebrating his 200th birthday in 2012) famously took part in a pianistic duel with Liszt, and was popularly acclaimed as the greatest pianist in the world during his lifetime. He only wrote one piano concerto, and that in his teens, but it is a brilliantly effective showpiece for virtuosity and stamina, the pianists hands barely leaving the piano. Johann Peter Pixis has now been consignedperhaps unfairlyto the oblivion where so many early 19th century composers dwell. These are world premiere recordings of his charming Piano Concerto and Piano Concertino.Howard Shelley
, undisputed master of the music of the early Romantic period, directs the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from the keyboard with his usual insouciance and poise.
The music is played with obvious affection and deep understanding, revealing to us, almost 200 years later, just what it was that attracted those European audiences of the late Georgian period. I strongly recommend this issue. --IRR, Nov '12
Johann Peter Pixis (1788-1874) and Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871) were pianist-composers whom posterity has relegated to minor figures on the fringe of Liszt's circle. They were big in their day, however. Many considered Thalberg to be Liszt's main rival. Pixis, Liszt's collaborator on one occasion, was also Thalberg's teacher. Listening to these works, however, you understand their comparative neglect. Pixis's Concerto in C and Concertino in E Flat have great charm, but not much drama. Thalberg's awesomely difficult Concerto in F minor is full of Lisztian virtuosity. *** --Guardian,15/11/12
This is a disc very much for those who like music that is easy on the ear, enriched with lavish sparkle and acrobatics. --Gramophone, Christmas'12
Pixis : Concerto pour piano, op.100 - Concertino pour piano, op.68 - Thalberg : Concerto pour piano, op.5 / Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra - Howard Shelley, piano & direction