The Romantic Piano Concer... has been added to your Basket

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
  • The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 45  Hiller
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available

The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 45 Hiller CD

Price: £15.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
20 new from £9.52 2 used from £16.42
£15.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Amazon's Howard Shelley Store

Visit Amazon's Howard Shelley Store
for all the music, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Conductor: Howard Shelley
  • Composer: Ferdinand Hiller
  • Audio CD (31 Mar. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0014WSVX6
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,742 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 35
2. Adagio
3. Allegro Moderato E Con Grazia
4. Moderato, ma con energia e con fuoco
5. Andante Espressivo
6. Allegro Con Fuoco
7. Allegro Con Anima
8. Andante Quasi Adagio
9. Allegro Con Spirito

Product Description

Concertos pour piano n°1 op.5, n°2 op.69 & n°3 "Concerto espressivo" op.170 / Howard Shelley, piano & direction - Orchestre Symphonique de Tasmanie

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By someonewhocares2 on 14 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ferdinand Hiller, a pupil of Hummel, was a prolific 19th century German composer and pianist who was highly respected in his time. As you might expect, these three concertos are not stylistically original, the obvious influences being Mendelssohn and Chopin, but the second and third concertos are superior to many of their type and are well worth getting to know.
The First Concerto(1829-31) is the least interesting. Its first movement has a striking main theme but the subsidiary material is less memorable and there is a fair amount of entertaining but rather empty virtuosity. The slow movement opens like a watered-down version of the slow movement from Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto and then contrasts lyrical and agitated material. The finale is the best movement. It's a rondo with an attractive and lyrical subsidiary tune.
The Second Concerto(1843) is the pick of these works. Far more tightly constructed and melodically memorable than the others, this compact piece eschews virtuosity for its own sake and, from its "sturm und drang" style opening until its tuneful finale it will keep you listening. This is a concerto which deserves a place in the concert repertoire.
The Third Concerto(1874) which, for many years, was thought lost is also worth getting to know. Known as the "Concerto Espressivo" it has a melodious and well-integrated sonata form opening movement with a particularly attractive second subject. The slow movement's minor key main theme seems rather plain at first but this is deceptive because throughout the movement Hiller continually varies it, allowing his imagination to lead the music where it will. The tune is finally heard in the major. The concerto ends with an exuberant finale.
These are splendid performances. Shelley rarely has to worry about competition because the repertoire he records is so rare but, even if this were not so, I cannot imagine these performances being bettered.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Lockyer on 28 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Like the reviewer before me, I was greatly impressed by this disc and equally impressed by Howard Shelley's peerless playing - matched by the orchestra and by Hyperion's fine recording.

Hiller seems to have been around throughout the entire "romantic" period and was well-known and, apparently, admired by so many of the composers we now place well ahead of him; Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt (whose early works Hller perceptively criticised for being too shallow, but who regularly showed his compositions to Hiller for the benefit of his opinion), Chopin, Berlioz and towards the end of his life even Brahms and Wagner.

I first came to the 2nd concerto through a Vox LP recording by Michael Ponti, but Shelley's new recording is superior both in recording quality and performance and, above all, in coupling it with the other two concertos.

For me, Hiller has far more talent and writes with more memorable melody and skilful orchestration than many of the composers represented in this Hyperion series, some of which I have to say I find quite banal.

Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in this type of repertoire.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Capell on 2 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Just when you would expect Hyperion to be scraping the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, at number 45 in their wonderful series of Romantic Piano Concertos they come up with this fine disc.I agree with the other two reviewers in what they say and I will not repeat their comments except to say that Concerto No.2 is very fine and it has a lovely slow movement. Excellent all round!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Arguably the best volume of a single composer in the series 11 Jun. 2008
By Dexter Tay - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have never held a very high regard or was very fond of the piano concertos by the three great Romantics - namely Schumann, Liszt and Chopin. While their genius and originality shone indelibly through their solo masterworks, somehow their works for their chosen instrument with the orchestra always seem to leave something more to be desired.

Since hearing concertos by their older contemporaries like Ignaz Moscheles (who was never given to frivolity and mere showmanship), my view was somewhat reinforced. The three piano concertos of Ferdinand Hiller served only to augment that opinion.

It is ironic that Hiller, up to the point of this volume's release, was known (do any search online) only vis-a-vis Schumann's piano concerto as its dedicatee. What a shame!

For what reasons the highly attractive and effective Concerto in f minor, Op. 5 was not recorded and commercially released hitherto I cannot fathom. It has the makings of all that is imaginative and desirable as an example par excellence of an Early Romantic Concerto (c. 1830). In the introduction, the trombones majestically announce a motif not unlike the "fate" of Beethoven's Fifth symphony; yet the mood is not one of despair or anguish, but one of ebullience, an early example of a mood characterization that moves away from the classical "sturm and drang" treatment of minor keys. Schumann's acute observation that Hiller's music was never given to fluff unlike contemporaries like Herz or Thalberg is well-founded even in this early concerto. Written as a vehicle for his piano technique, all its displays are carefully subsumed under a cohesive and engaging musical structure. Hiller's affinity for Beethoven (being present at his deathbed with his teacher Hummel) is further evident in the ethereal second movement, where the "question and answer" mode uncannily reminds one of the second movement of Beethoven's own Fourth piano concerto that depicts a dialogue between Orpheus and the Furies.

The second concerto had been recorded years back by Michael Ponti, who had done the honour of letting listeners re-discover neglected piano concerto masterpieces of composers unjustly forgotten by music's historical discourse. The most passionate of the three that fits well into the genre of mid-Romanticism, it is little surprise why listeners accustomed to full-blown Romanticism became most familiar with the work. Hiller's genius and gift for melody and harmonic modulation shines through and through in this piece, expecially so in the slow movement. The third movement ends the work in a capriciously good mood.

The third concerto is altogether quite different from its predecessors, showing how inventive a composer Hiller could be. The opening of the first movement is imbued with a warm lyricism and yearning of spring not unlike Bartok's own third concerto (I would not be surprised if the composer was himself acquainted with the piece before writing his own). The woodwinds announce a question that seem to beckon the piano's entry as the harbinger of spring. After some figurations that seem to mimic the sounds of birds in spring, the piano then states the lyrical theme first announced by the strings in the first few bars. The theme undergoes some variations in a clever interplay between the orchestra and the piano, demonstrating in the process the composer's maturity in the treatment of the form since his First concerto. The second movement offers a contrast in mood from the first with the woodwinds announcing a mystical theme that seems to hark back to more ancient times, a melody reminiscent of Rachmaninov's piano solo theme in his Third piano concerto as well as his favourite Russian "Dies Irae" motif). Trills rapture in the middle of the movement, uncovering the undulating emotions beneath. The mystical theme recapitulates with a brief mouvement perpetuel left hand accompaniment in chromaticism that again, looks forward to Rachmaninov. The third movement ensues in high spirits with some very unique piano figurations that again like in the first movement, resemble the call of birds. Hiller builds up the feeling of victory effectively, letting up in moments only as a way to diffuse the tension and to build a bigger climax at the very end.

Howard Shelley mesmerizes his audience once again as the impeccable and irreproachable champion of neglected Romantic piano concerti masterworks.

Arguably the best volume of a single composer in the series.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful CD from Howard Shelley 19 Jun. 2008
By David A. Wend - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Ferdinand Hiller was a talented musician who began as a child prodigy making his concert debut at age 10. He was a pupil of Hummel and teacher to Max Bruch and Engelbert Humperdinck, and a close friend of Chopin and Liszt. Hiller was a renown performed and conductor, founding an orchestra and music festival while Kapellmeister in Cologne. He was conservative in his approach to music and was an authority on Bach Mozart and Beethoven. Yet within 20 years of his death in 1885 Hiller had been forgotten and remains so up to today.

The three piano concerti that Hiller wrote come from various periods of his career. The First Concerto (1829 - 31) was written during his time in Paris and is dedicated to Moscelles. The concerto has a brilliant piano part written to show off Hiller's keyboard brilliance and shows the influence of Chopin. The orchestral parts are nicely written but the piano is the instrument that really shines. The Second Concerto (1843) is much more dramatic with the piano opening the work with an energetic passage before the orchestra joins. The movement is very engaging with the soloist and orchestra engaging is a spirited dialogue and carried into the slow movement without pause. The slow movement is an eloquent showpiece for the soloist and the finale is an exuberant movement beginning with a dance-like melody paired with a lyrical second subject with plenty of fireworks for the soloist.

The Third Concerto is a late work (1874 - 75) and carries the subtitle "Concerto espressivo." The first movement finds the soloist and orchestra about equally involved in the development of the music: the orchestra introduces the first theme and the soloist the second. The music alternates between the exuberant and lyrical themes. The slow movement also has much more interaction between soloist and orchestra in the development of the music, and the piano has some magnificent unaccompanied passages. The orchestra sets off the finale followed by the soloist but the piano does not have long brilliant flourishes and interacts more with the orchestra introducing themes that are developed by both. The Third Concerto was presumed in the 1920's to be lost until the score and parts were found.

This set of piano concerti is very engaging and beautifully performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with Howard Shelly directing and as soloist. Mr. Shelley has been making an impressive reputation for the Tasmanians and this is yet another fine example.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant 26 Aug. 2008
By David Saemann - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This entry in Howard Shelley's investigation of the 19th Century piano concerto is one of the highlights of the series. These works by Ferdinand Hiller provide absorbing listening. The first concerto is an early work, with lots of shimmering moments in the fluid piano part. The last movement is especially fetching. The 2nd and 3rd concertos are more intense creations, with a fully involved orchestral part matching the dramatic explorations of the soloist. The 3rd seems influenced by Schumann, especially the more ambiguous later works. This might seem unusual in a piece premiered in 1874, but Hiller was a musical conservative, and he certainly was true to his muse in this concerto. The performances are marvelous. Howard Shelley always plays with fluency, but also with passion when required. Just as sheer piano pyrotechnics, this is a superb album. The orchestra plays well, and how Shelley manages to keep them together with him despite all the difficult piano writing is a mystery to me. The sound engineering, by the former Chandos producer Ben Connellan, is excellent. If, like me, you are collecting Howard Shelley's discs on Hyperion, this will be an essential purchase.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful piece 22 July 2008
By Leo Chang - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Thanks to Hyperion bringing us another great piece of piano concerto works. If you collect piano concertos, this is a must have!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb performances of fabulous music 16 April 2011
By G.D. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is something of a discovery. Ferdinand Hiller (1811-1885) was an acclaimed composer in his day, but has been largely overlooked by record companies. I have heard some great claims about his oratorio Die Zerstörung Jerusalems, and on the evidence of this disc I would be very happy to hear it, or any of Hiller's many large scale works. Hiller was a friend of Berlioz, Liszt and Schumann, and a supporter of Wagner, and while his own music belongs to the romantic tradition of Schumann, Liszt and Chopin it is definitely not without an individual touch, and it contains some very fine ideas which are skillfully handled and developed. The music is not revelatory, perhaps, but no lover of romantic music will want to overlook it.

That is, it would be hard to make great claims about the early first concerto. There is plenty of brilliance and bravura, to be sure, moments of Weber-like atmospheres and some romantic yarn-spinning. It is worth hearing, but pales in comparison to the excellent second concerto. Here the themes are truly memorable, and the music is genuinely sparkling; brilliant and ebullient but with moments of poetic lyricism and even serenity (the memorable second movement, in particular). Chopin may be the composer most often brought to mind, but although Hiller lacks Chopin's melodic genius and lightning bolts of inspiration, the Hiller is better put together even than Chopin's somewhat problematic concertos; I would not want to exaggerate the resemblance either - Hiller's voice is recognizably his own, and there are plenty of original and inventive touches to the music. I'd even dare to call Hiller's second concerto a minor masterpiece.

The relatively late third concerto, `Concerto espressivo' is not quite on that level. There are plenty of imaginative touches, but this time around Hiller's struggle to be inventive and original shines through, and certain passages border on the manieristic. Still, there are many fine things here as well, and the concerto is certainly a rewarding addition to the repertoire. Throughout Shelley's playing is dazzling; vivid, vivacious, full of energy and poetry, and the orchestra seems to enjoy themselves as much as the soloist does. The sound is superb. A really rewarding disc, strongly recommended.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?