Customer Review

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting instrument, pity about the music, 10 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Gounod: Complete Works For Piano & Orchestra [Roberto Prosseda, Howard Shelley] [Hyperion: CDA67975] (Audio CD)
I cannot imagine what physical demands must be placed on the soloist in these works - playing a normal piano with the hands while playing another one with the feet. This soloist manages it, to the uneducated ear, with great aplomb; and the instrument makes a bonny sound. The recording is fine and the orchestra, under the admirable Howard Shelley, supports the soloist very effectively.

I'm afraid the problem lies with the music. Gounod at his best is a good composer. At less than his best - well... This is pretty routine stuff. The most memorable item is the Fantaisie sur l'hymne nationale russe: no-one seems to know why he composed this, but it makes a good showpiece for the pedal piano. The rest is pretty ordinary mid-19c stuff. I don't know how often I would want to bother listening to this.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Nov 2013 10:38:22 GMT
BERLIN DOC says:
A good and fair review.
This music, for the most part, is rather uninspiring.
Aside from the novelty of the pedal piano, there is not much here to demand repeated listening.
As I have said in earlier reviews from this series, a minority, in my case anyway, will be listened to only once. This latest offering is in this (thankfully small) category.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2013 14:26:36 GMT
Stephen says:
Many thanks. What is remarkable is that soloists must spend so much time getting these obscure pieces up. And many of them will remain obscure! But occasionally they unearth something that has been unjustly neglected or which fills in one's appreciation of a particular composer. Sadly, we agree that isn't really the case here.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2013 14:32:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2013 14:35:35 GMT
BERLIN DOC says:
indeed Stephen.
Hyperion is usually very sharp in its choices for this and other series.
I can understand the novelty of choosing a disc of music for the pedal piano but with music for this instrument written by greats such as Alkan, it might have been better to include something also from another composer along side that of Gounod.
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