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  • The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 18 Korngold & Marx
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The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 18 Korngold & Marx CD


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Pianist Marc-André Hamelin’s unique blend of musicianship and virtuosity brings forth interpretations remarkable for their freedom, originality, and prodigious mastery of the piano’s resources. Long known for his bold exploration of unfamiliar pianistic terrain, Mr. Hamelin has increasingly turned his attention to the established masterworks of the piano literature, in ... Read more in Amazon's Marc-André Hamelin Store

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Frequently Bought Together

The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 18 Korngold & Marx + The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 13 Glazunov & Goedicke + Romantic Piano Concertos, Vol.4
Price For All Three: £38.23

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Product details

  • Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Osmo Vänskä
  • Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Joseph Marx
  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0000063BP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,658 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lebhaft (Allegro moderato)
2. Nicht zu langsam (Andante affettuoso)
3. Sehr lebhaft (Allegro molto)
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Product Description

Product Description

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) : Concerto pour piano, pour la main gauche, op. 17 - Joseph Marx (1882-1964) : Romantisches Klavierkonzert en mi majeur / Marc-André Hamelin, piano - BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, dir. Osmo Vänskä

Review

GRAMOPHONE CRITICS' CHOIC 'All the most wildly romantic concertos you can think of rolled into one huge pianistic feat' --Gramophone

'A superb coupling … the frankly outrageous challenges set by these unfailingly inventive scores are overcome by Hamelin with a nonchalance bordering on effrontery. A revelation' --Piano International

'Mesmerising playing from Hamelin in two fascinating late-romantic concertos. Enthusiasts for virtuoso piano writing of the most fearsome difficulty will find it impossible not to be overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance of Hamelin's playing' --Classic CD

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 May 2002
Format: Audio CD
This CD was bought just on an impulse and I was extremely well rewarded for my risk-taking. Marc- Andre Hamelin is, as usual, brilliant. The passionate and lyrical performances he gives here are as good as, if not better than, any I've heard. The music in the Marx concerto is so beautiful it made me conduct the orchestra in my imagination, and that only happens when I hear really sumptuous music. The style is about as Romantic as you can get without it turning into honey. Some of the pianism is quite astounding and this is backed up when you read what the sleeve notes (which are excellent) say about what the performer actually has to play! The Korngold concerto is, as the sleeve notes will tell you, the second ever piano concerto for the left hand ever written and reminded me of Prokofiev in its foreboding, apocalyptic beginning and harmonic content. Unfortunately, although the sound quality is of the highest standard, the piano suffers from not being amplified quite enough in the Korngold concerto. Also, Hamelin's fingers tapping the ivories is audible, but that's only if you're wearing headphones. Overall, a gem of a CD and, along with the Henselt/Alkan CD by the same performer, makes my CD collection!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Sept. 2005
Format: Audio CD
First a big 'well done' to the British label Hyperion for the fact that there was such good knowledge of the repertoire that two virtuoso piano concertos by two great Austrian late-romantics could be recorded on one CD (in the now legendary Hyperion series 'The Romantic Piano Concerto').
But why only a three stars out of five rating? Not because of the fantastic Korngold recording, of which I have absolutely no criticism. No, it is because of keyboard-robot Marc-André Hamelin's completely uninspired performance of the 'Romantic Piano Concerto' by Joseph Marx. Anyone who knows the legendary radio recordings of this work with the great pianist Jorge Bolet and of course the new recording which appeared in July 2005 with David Lively (and the Bochum Symphony under Steven Sloane on ASV) will understand why this pounding recording of this piano concerto (which is from first to last second wonderfully beautiful) just has no heart at all. In Hamelin's recording every nuance which Marx built into the refined piano part goes for nothing. This is accentuated by the somewhat dull sound (as if the treble control had been turned down). The piano cannot at any point develop that noble presence which gives such enjoyment in the above-mentioned recordings with Bolet or Lively. Also, the orchestral sound seems to me to have been manipulated in the studio - unfortunately with negative results. In the final analysis this wonderful piano concerto by Joseph Marx premiered by Walter Gieseking is simply ruined. It is fortunate, then, that the piece has also recently appeared on ASV in an extremely refreshing recording (with the pianist David Lively).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. J. A. Brough on 21 Dec. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This disc has been on the shelves for several years and achieves steady sales. The pieces are fully worthy of place amongst the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concertos, indeed, the Marx Concerto is the eponymous concerto for the whole series.
Marc-André Hamelin records now exclusively for Hyperion, and has achieved many astounding successes for the label. His Medtner and Godowsky will perhaps never be surpassed in terms of technique and application. Here he tackles two dissimilar works by composers who were friends. They, in their different ways, kept romanticism going in Austria after abandonment by the composers of the Second School, Schönberg and Berg, Webern, and to a lesser extent, Zemlinsky (who never let go of his romantic roots).
The Korngold Concerto is for the left hand only, and was written for Paul Wittgenstein. It is a chimæra of a piece, percussive, kaleidoscopic and punishing for the player. Korngold set the piece in "C sharp" without saying whether he intended that to be major or minor, and this ambiguity pervades the piece as a whole. Tough but with substance, yet heroic and touching too.
Marx was the older man, and wrote his Romantisches Klavierkonzert in the second main phase of his work as a composer, after he had turned from song writing to orchestral works in the 1920s. If ever there was a piano conerto worthy of the title "Romantic" this is it. There is no better recommendation to the listener than to turn on the system, put on the disc and prepare to be swept away into a sound world of sophisticated and endearing late romantic fervour. The piano part is as hard for the two hands as the Korngold was for one, but this time there will be no difficulty in recognizing this work as one of the great piano concertos of the 20th Century.
The sound and the orchestral playing are very good, and the recommendation is unqualified.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Korngold, Superlative Marx 11 May 2004
By minacciosa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Korngold Concerto is one as much for orchestra as it is for the Piano. It's primary challenge is formal, as a broad sonata form is used very freely to present many ideas based upon a variant of his "motive of the happy heart". In its way, it is rather forward looking, the harmony pointing towards the 3rd String Quartet and the late Symphony in F#.
The Marx is the gem of this disc. If you only know Marx as a composer of songs (and he was one of the greatest at lieder writing) you will be shocked. The melodic material is memorable, particularly the 2nd subject of the first movement and the primary Rondo theme of the 3rd movement. The piano writing is of the utmost brilliance, yet never seems to be so for its own sake. It just fits. Harmonically, Marx is extremely ingenious working within an expanded tonal framework. If you listen closely you will hear this tonal framework undermined by constantly shifting lines in the middle register, which lends the work a more complex feeling than the title "Romatisches" implies. The concerto is more subdued than the composer's large orchestral canvasses, but still has the characteristically Marx sound: an all-consuming love of nature seemingly conveyed by endlessly imaginative detail in extension of melodic material.
It's really amazing music. Hamelin is very good as always. (Try to hear the Jorge Bolet aircheck for an interesting contrast in the interpretation of the Marx. He is far more poetic, if less fiery.) This cd gets 5 stars because the Marx is one of the absolute greatest of Piano Concerti. You must hear it.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
(No title). 7 Dec. 2000
By offeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Marx's concerto, one of the most wildly romantic and absolutely ravishing piano concertos, lush as lush can be, though never overwhemling or prodound, is an enormous pianistic feast, not to mention pianistic feat! Indeed, it contains a legion of difficulties! It mixes some of the best influences of Scriabin, Korngold, Debussy, and Delius. A work of exceptional craftsmanship, it's always a delight to hear, especially from the hands of Hamelin, who brings it all off with consummate ease... Korngold's remarkable and left-hand concerto makes such a virtue out of gladiatorial spread-chords trickery that it is striking how incredibly difficult it would be to play this piece as written with the right hand in addition to just the left! Such a splendid and romantic Hero concerto of struggle this is, symphonically blending piano with orchestra. Hamelin delivers a luxuriant reading filled with poetry, tremendous power, and authority. A thoroughly pleasant and pleasing disc. Highly recommendable; Highly recommended!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Two lesser-known concerti with Hamelin at his best 7 Nov. 2002
By Bruce Hodges - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Once again, Marc-André Hamelin delves into far corners of the piano world and delivers fearless performances of two seldom-played pieces. The Korngold, written for Paul Wittgenstein who also commissioned masterpieces such as the Ravel "Left Hand" Piano Concerto, is marvelously satisfying and should be performed more often. Sumptuously written for both the piano and the orchestra, it is filled with memorable moments. I like the Marx, also, even if it is (perhaps) not quite up to the level of the Korngold. Never mind: these are pieces that deserve to be heard more often, especially when performed like this.
In recording after recording, Hamelin proves that he is one of the most brilliant pianists working today. Often choosing neglected repertoire, he illuminates as very few artists do - and invariably with stunning playing. After hearing his performance of the Korngold, you might walk away thinking that it is the finest piano concerto ever written - at least while the final chords linger in your mind.
Osmo Vänskä, the conductor-designate of the Minnesota Orchestra, also deserves credit for his outstanding direction and balancing of these immense forces, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is superb. Hyperion offers typically clear, wide-ranging sound, and excellent program notes as well. (This is but one of an impressive Hyperion series called "The Romantic Piano Concerto," including many large-scale works which are all but forgotten.)
An unusual find, and for piano lovers, perhaps essential.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent Marx ... Claustrophobic Korngold 6 May 2007
By Classic Music Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Most people would expect the Korngold work to be the melodious one here. And also the one with the better orchestration. How wrong they would be! Korngold rumbles and grumbles his way through the concerto with lots of "sturm und drang" and very little memorable music. And the orchestration is far less inventive than so many of his other compositions such as the Violin Concerto, the Cello Concerto, the Symphony and (especially) the operas Die Tote Stadt and Die Kathrin.

The Marx Piano Concerto is the "find" here. What a marvelous composition this is! And in a great performance that really does it justice, too. Just sit back and let the good sounds wash over you. This CD merits 5 stars on the strength of the Marx work alone.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Pianistic excess--excessively well played 8 Mar. 2000
By V. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ever wonder what it would have been like had Richard Strauss composed a Piano Concerto instead of, say, "Don Juan?" (Yes, I know he wrote a Burleske, but that is a relatively youthful piece.)
Well, wonder no longer. From the very opening bars, Joseph Marx's "Romantic Concerto" virtually shouts that it is that concerto. Here we have the lush orchestration, wide-ranging tunes and glorious excess which one finds in Strauss' tone poems. This piece has more calories than a whole double chocolate cake.
Whether I enjoy that much excess depends completely on my mood, however. Frequently, it seems bombastic unlike, say, the Rachmaninoff Concertos which have real emotion under a virtuosic sheen. Still, it is an enjoyable, if shallow, piece with a lovely, poetic slow movement which provides relief from the overkill of the outer movements.
The Korngold is a more sophisticated piece with slightly more astringent harmony and orchestration. It makes a good discmate for the Marx, however, because it has the same compositional ethos (ie. why give us a simple tune and harmony when you can have three tunes interweaving amid an overheated atmosphere! ) Besides, you'll be amazed that Korngold wrote soo many notes for one hand!
Regardless of the content of this music, it is wonderfully played by Hamelin and the recording is up to Hyperion's high standards. Both pieces would certainly bring the house down in a concert hall.
Not my favorite disc in this terrific Hyperion series, but when I'm in the mood it's a great wallow!
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