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William Sterndale Bennett: Piano Concertos No. 1 & 3
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William Sterndale Bennett: Piano Concertos No. 1 & 3

14 Aug. 2007 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 29 Aug. 2007
  • Label: Lyrita
  • Copyright: 2007 Lyrita
  • Total Length: 1:05:43
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,318 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Brouiller on 20 Sept. 2006
Format: Audio CD
William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875)wrote six piano concertos in an approximate ten year period between the ages of 16 and 26 before the burden of a teaching career and a personal setback with the Philharmonic Society slowed up his compositional output and development.

There is enough genuinely musical interest in these works to make them bear repeated listening. Far from being sub-Mendelssohn, the two main works on this disc promote the classical spirit of Mozart and early Beethoven in the context of an overall early romantic style. There is passion and a feeling for the genuinely dramatic (for instance in the assertive main theme of the first movement of the first concerto and the successfully handled variety of contrast, opposition and co-operation between soloist and orchestra); there is abundant melodic inventiveness and classical discipline in the handling and development of musical ideas.

There is also an emergent, distinctive originality. This, however, tends to be in the details rather than in the substance of the music. This, in the end, is what is slightly provoking about Bennett: he has as much, if not more, going for him than many other 19th century composers not of the first rank, but he never quite comes out with a bold enough statement of his originality to have produced a work that might readily earn a regular place in the standard repertory.

The slow movement (Romanza) of Piano Concerto no. 3 is really exceptional. Among its many felicities is a moment at the end of the piece, when a single, falling line, in the right hand of the piano part is counterpoised against the return of the pizzicato string idea from the opening few bars.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Something new, something good 5 Aug. 2007
By Alexander T. Gafford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These concertos are written by a long neglected English composer, William Stendale Bennett. They are admirably performed on this recording and fit well into the early Romantic period along with Chopin and Mendelssohn. There are original, and in some places, powerful and distinctive musical ideas on display. The liner notes explain why we have known little of Bennett's work but listening to what is done in these pieces makes us wish Bennett had been able to have a career of sustained creativity. If you have many recordings of music of this era, I would recommend this album over another run through of the same old war horses by the new pianist of the day. If you don't have many recordings of piano and orchestral music from the first half of the nineteen century, buy this album instead of say, the Chopin concertos, and experience the road a little less traveled.
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