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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes outstandingly beautiful is more important
Reviewers often dwell on the historical 'importance' of a composer, or their 'innovative' abilities. This is certainly valid but makes for a one-sided appraisal and does injury to some extremely fine music. I would have to include the beautiful Thalberg Concerto in this category. It is a spectacularly lovely and melodic piece that deserves much greater exposure. Who cares...
Published on 22 Nov 2011 by Erich Beck

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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flashy
Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871) is a name that kept on cropping up in books and articles I have read whilst I have been investigating nineteenth-century piano works; there is not much of his work available on CD, so I took a small chance and ordered this inexpensive Naxos CD. Now, I have to say that the pianist, Francesco Nicolosi, plays well (he has recorded a few...
Published on 12 April 2010 by Mr. Mark A. Meldon


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes outstandingly beautiful is more important, 22 Nov 2011
This review is from: Thalberg - Grand Concerto (Audio CD)
Reviewers often dwell on the historical 'importance' of a composer, or their 'innovative' abilities. This is certainly valid but makes for a one-sided appraisal and does injury to some extremely fine music. I would have to include the beautiful Thalberg Concerto in this category. It is a spectacularly lovely and melodic piece that deserves much greater exposure. Who cares if it wasn't as innovative (in its time) as the works of some other composers ? For those who love the music of this period, it is outstandingly fluid, engaging and moving.

I daresay that more works of this kind might have kept 'Classical' or 'serious' music more popular than it has sadly become, which has allowed so many fine composers to become ignored. I greatly regret that Thalberg wrote only one concerto. Indeed, I have frequently found myself enjoying so-called obscure composers more than the over-played 'greats'.

This recording is beautifully played and nuanced.

I'm forever delighted that Naxos (and there-after the internet) has made it possible for lesser known works to be resurrected for what may be a small but, world-wide, a significant audience to love and enjoy. I look forward to more and more pearls from this label as well as others who are now also expanding their range beyond the endlessly repeated 'great composers'.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love at first listen, 9 July 2011
This review is from: Thalberg - Grand Concerto (Audio CD)
Having immersed myself in a biography of Liszt I came across the name Thalberg who was born just a year after the great composer. A virtuoso in his own right, Thalberg wowed the audiences of his day (as did Liszt). He is reputed to have not been in the same class as Liszt but this example of his music was for me 'love at first listen'. The Piano Concerto is fun, lively, and beautiful. It is akin the to music of Ferdinand Ries and there are hints of Paganini in the concerto. I have played it over and over and immediately looked through the catalogue for more of this composer and what I heard didn't disappoint. I may not be a musical 'expert' but I know what I like and Thalberg is great. If you get the chance, go to Naxos's site and have a 'taster'. I'm sure you'll love it!
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flashy, 12 April 2010
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Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thalberg - Grand Concerto (Audio CD)
Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871) is a name that kept on cropping up in books and articles I have read whilst I have been investigating nineteenth-century piano works; there is not much of his work available on CD, so I took a small chance and ordered this inexpensive Naxos CD. Now, I have to say that the pianist, Francesco Nicolosi, plays well (he has recorded a few Thalberg CDs for Marco Polo - some re-released on Naxos) and the orchestra back him well enough. However, this is flashy, virtuoso, shallow music.

As Harold C Schonberg says in his excellent book The Great Pianists, "His (Thalberg's) music, though, was doomed to a short life. Today it is forgotten, and he himself is a shadowy figure. Liszt moved with the times, constantly growing, while Thalberg was content to be the virtuoso with his little bag of dated tricks". I often find "forgotten" music to be well-worth investigating, but not Thalberg; it's empty stuff.

Schonberg also quotes Chopin on Thalberg from 1830: "As for Thalberg, he plays excellently, but he is not my man. Younger than I, pleases the ladies, makes potpurris from "la Muette" [ Auber's opera "La Muette de Portici"], gets his soft passages by the pedal, not the hand, takes tenths as easily as I take octaves - has diamond shirt studs - does not admire Moscheles."

Whilst apparently a lovely man, Thalberg's music has seemingly little utility in the twenty-first century, but you might listen once or twice, diamond shirt studs and all.
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