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  • Toch: Piano Cto #1, Pinocchio, Big Ben, Peter Pan
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Toch: Piano Cto #1, Pinocchio, Big Ben, Peter Pan

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£15.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 2 left in stock. Sold by Fulfillment Express and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Oct. 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New World
  • ASIN: B0000793WA
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,773 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 38 (1926)
2. Peter Pan, A Fairy Tale for Orchestra, Op. 76 (1956)
3. Pinocchio, A Merry Overture (1935)
4. Big Ben, Variation Fantasy on the Westminster Chimes, Op. 62 (1934) 16:16

Product Description

NWR 609; NEW WORLD RECORDS - Stati Uniti; Classica contemporanea Piano

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nobody TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of twentieth century classical music and haven't come across Ernst Toch you've missed out on a major and neglect composer. This recording has been my introduction to his work and, as you can probably tell, I'm very impressed. One particularly remarkable fact is that he was self taught and had to fight hard to get that education. His self education was truly remarkable if these works are anything to judge by.

The first work on the disc is the first piano concerto. This was considered a major work in the 1920's and widely performed. Its neglect since has much to do with Toch being an Austrian Jew trying to make a living in Germany. He was smart enough to flee in 1933 but he found that he was transformed from being a "St Bernard "in Germany to a "Daschshund" in the USA - reduced to writing horror film scores.

His music has much in common with early Hindemith - extended tonality - even atonal at times but with a lighter tough in orchestration than him. The piano concerto should stil be a major work inspite of passing fashions and politics. This is, stylistically of its time but superbly written with an athletic piano part, wonderfully played here by pianist Todd Crow, and with a similarly athletic orchestration. The music is by turns neo baroque, expressionistic, lyrical and ebullient.

The following Peter Pan Suite is similarly athletic with the atonality in the first movement depicting Peter Pan's speed and flight. For all the extended tonality this is immediately attractive music. The higher strings often lead the melodic line and there are similarities to Nielsen's later works like his Sixth symphony - but without the pain.

The Pinocchio overture that follows is more tonally based, is full of wit and whimsy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hugely enjoyable 24 Nov. 2013
By G.D. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are looking for action, you could hardly do better than having a go at this disc. The works here are crammed with incidence, energy and momentum, color and humor – a bit relentless at times, perhaps, but utterly captivating (if Toch’s piano concerto doesn’t manage to hold your attention, I really don’t know what will). Ernst Toch himself started his career as one of the central figures in German musical life, but deflected to the US in the 30s, where he – as so many others – never managed to regain his position. Much of his time was apparently spent composing music to Hollywood B-movies, and he died in relative obscurity in Los Angeles in 1964. Now, it is Korngold (and some others) who is generally recognized as developing that Hollywood sound. Toch never achieved any significant recognition for his work in the film industry, but the music on this disc seems, to me at least, to explain quite a bit of the development of the Hollywood – it might, of course, be a case of correlation not equaling causation, but it may at least give an indication of what the music here sounds like.

It is, for instance, hard not to hear the connection between Toch’s first piano concerto, composed in 1926 and before he left Germany, and film music in the 40s, 50s and 60s, and not the least the energetic ebullience of something like the scores for things like those familiar Tom & Jerry or Disney shorts, though there is no obvious hint of jazz or romanticism in Toch’s music here. The score is brimming with audacity and vicious humor – apparently it established Toch’s position as a leading figure of the avant-garde, but despite its dissonances this can hardly be deemed “difficult music”. It is far from superficial, but its virtuoso brilliance, glittering cascades and rhythmic energy ensure that it can easily be enjoyed on a superficial level as well (if you want). Todd Crowe gives the solo part all the attack and energy and brilliance it needs, and Leon Botstein and the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg, provide stellar support – not without a rough edge or two, admittedly, but it doesn’t really detract from the overall verdict.

The couplings are just as energetic and colorful. Pinocchio: A Merry Overture is perhaps lighter and less forward-looking than the concerto, but it is surely enjoyable and amiable without, perhaps, lingering in the memory. Peter Pan is a “fairy tale for orchestra” in three parts, but despite the title it can hardly be deemed “light” – for the most part it is atonal, though the music is based on a few rather simple themes serving as anchors for the harmonically complex treatment. The fairy-tale atmosphere is nevertheless sustained by Toch’s expert orchestration. One might perhaps be inclined to shrug one’s shoulder at the Big Ben variations (“Variation-Fantasy on the Westminster Chimes”), but despite what one might think of the idea, Toch’s deft scoring and imaginative development makes it work far better than one would have thought or even dared hope. It may not be a great work, but definitely does the trick as a rousing encore. The performances are once again of a consistently high standard, and the sound just a little dry. A very welcome and hugely enjoyable release, and probably an ideal introduction to the composer.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Toch 1 April 2012
By Hamel - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
un compositeur méconnu qui a pourtant écrit des partitions étonnantes, "la fugue géographique", "la flûte chinoise", le concerto pour violoncelle et, ici, celui pour piano, de surcroît très bien interprété
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