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Kurt Atterberg: Piano Concerto CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Hannover Radio Philharmonie
  • Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
  • Composer: Kurt Atterberg
  • Audio CD (27 Dec. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B00005QHS1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,775 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
CPO has done it again and succeeded in bringing another relatively unknown composer to the attention of otherwise unsuspecting music-lovers like myself. Kurt Atterberg's brand of Romanticism has quite a modern take on it, with some occasional "jazzy" harmonies and sounds, but is otherwise very conservative in it's structure and melodies.
My favorite work on this disc is the Piano Concerto, which contains all you could want from a piano concerto. As with all the music on this disc it is full of melody and great ideas; the slow movement being particularly beautiful.
The Rhapsody and the Concerto are quite accessible and I certainly loved them on the first listen, while the last work, the Passacaglia, may take a few more listens to truly appreciate its worth.
As always with CPO the performers are lesser-known but unquestionably superb and really bring the music to life. The recording quality is also excellent.
I would highly recommend this disc to any music lover, especially with a soft-spot for the late-romantic period in general.

I'm now off to start the CPO Atterberg Symphony cycle...!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Exciting and beautiful works played with the appropriate excitement and beauty. Imagine being born a mere seven years after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and living until 1974! Atterberg's music, to my mind, is a superb demonstration of the transitions this composer lived through.To my ear (played on a Cambridge Azur 650C and an Integra DTR 80-3) this is a more "balanced" recording than the Sterling recording but the two CDs offer a dual capture of this rewarding composer.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Excellent! Good performance!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The lush romanticism of Atterberg highly attractive music. 14 Feb. 2002
By David Anthony Hollingsworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After giving much praise to Atterberg's Third and Sixth Symphonies (well played by Rasilainen and the Radio Philharmonic Hannover of NDR), there's plenty to admire in this album. The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1927-1935) is the main attraction here. And although it is not quite a masterpiece in comparison with Grieg's Piano Concerto, it nonetheless has a great deal going for it. The beginning of the Concerto alludes to that of Grieg. But listen to the remaining minutes of the first movement and you'll sense something Rachmaninovian in its brooding, somewhat melancholic, romantic atmosphere. But listen further and you'll sense the structure and style somewhat similar to the first movement of Medtner's First Piano Concerto. The overall atmosphere is Nordic, but with that Slavic concentration and coloring that brings to mind the young, searching Scriabin. The Andante movement is especially memorable: the mood which is subtle and melancholic with the piano writing that is soothing, flowing, and grandeur in the worlds of Rachmaninov and even Medtner. And the support of the captivating muted strings somewhat Baxian in nature is inescapable here. But turn to the intense middle part of the movement and you'll find yourself enraptured by its subtlety and substance of musical thought. The finale is robust and triumphant, again Nordic, but again with that Slavic inner thoughts that are not too far from, say, Lyapunov (try 1:10 - ff).

The other two works on this disc include the Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra & Ballad and Passacaglia. The Rhapsody is particularly an outgoing, somewhat flamboyant piece. The quiet middle section is very memorable and captivating. The equally impressive Ballad and Passacaglia is rather characteristic: alternating between the somber slow tempo sections and energetic, ebullient, dramatic ones.

Love Derwinger continues to be a compelling, musically conscious pianist. He possesses this gift of not only matching the essences behind the music, but also taking them to the next level that is immensely rewarding. As in Reger's Piano Concerto (BIS), Derwinger goes deep and unyielding in Atterberg's Concerto and Rhapsody. But what's more is that Derwinger is such an imaginative artist that he seems to go beyond the conventionalism behind the playing and makes a piece sound as if there's an occasion like no others. That's what a great artist would do, give a piece an occasion that will make you want to come back for more: a "cherry pie under the rays of the sun" in other words. Rasilainen and the Radio Philharmonic Hannover of NDR measure up to Derwinger flair and imagination euphoniously. Thumbs up to CPO for its ongoing series of Swedish music (and severely underplayed works in general).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a hidden gem 28 July 2012
By layman b alongi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard this piece I wondered why so few recordings. The melodies stick in your mind such as the Grieg or Tchaikovsky concerto.There are only 2 recordings available of this work. This one will do nicely.Love Derwinger is an excellent pianist. He is backed up very capably by Ari Rasilainen and the excellent Hanover orchestra. The couplings are attractive making this disc more desirable. Sound is very good. Check it out. You wont be disappointed.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kurt Atterburg: Piano Concerto 25 Feb. 2012
By Bjorn Viberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kurt Atterburg: Piano Concerto is a 2000 cpo recording starring pianist Love Derwinger. Ari Rasilainen leads the Radio Philharmonie Hannover des NDR. Love Derwinger's performance is truly magical and I feel that he truly understands the nature of Atterberg's music. A breathtaking recording. Highly recommended indeed. 5/5.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Companion to Ravel, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff 7 May 2016
By Chris C. Hill - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
For those who haven't heard Kurt Atterberg: he was a 20th-century electrical engineer who wrote memorable music, and his position in the Pantheon of classical music is similar to -- if not arguably a bit higher than -- that of Borodin, a 19th-century chemist who wrote memorable music. Atterberg's Piano Concerto is a relatively late work, written 1936, decades after he had found his original voice. This work, despite its date of origin, opens (as several reviewers have noted) with a clear allusion to Grieg's 1868 piano concerto, the Norwegian master's earnest triads being transformed into juicy 13th-chords of the sort heard in Ravel's Concerto in G major. But the Grieg hommage ends quickly. The remainder of the first movement forges its own path -- in this respect unlike, say, Rachmaninoff's 1891 First Piano Concerto, which was originally written, section by section, precisely on the pattern of Grieg's concerto. (Just for the record, Grieg modeled his concerto closely on Schumann's 1845 piano concerto, and Schumann's concerto, though original in many ways, was said by the composer to be influenced by Hiller's innovative 1843 Second Piano Concerto.)

I came to the Atterberg concerto after exposure to his marvelous symphonies on CPO, also conducted to great effect by Ari Rasilainen. His is a late Romantic/early modern symphonic cycle of great originality and sweep. On first hearing, the movement of the concerto that seems most akin to the symphonies is the Andante, an utterly magical movement, cousin to concerto slow movements by Ravel yet with Atterberg's original voice and Nordic message. It took about two listenings to become addicted. After that I could listen to the more familiar sounds of the concerto's outer movements with an ear for what is musically original about them. Quite a bit, really. They sound muscular, masculine, positive, a natural sounding compound of Russian/German romanticism and French neoclassicism. In my view the shortcoming of the concerto is the last movement's peroration. Here Atterberg, like many other composers, wants to give his hard-working soloist something to please the crowd. And Atterberg has succeeded, no doubt; but in so doing he has let the social context of the (concerto) form dictate musical decisions to a degree one does not find in most of his music. Much of Atterberg aims at something other than crowd-pleasing, and it pleases all the more for doing so. Accordingly the Atterberg concerto gets a B or B+ from me -- 4 or 4 1/2 stars, though the Andante surely rates a 5. (For reference, I would award a 5 to the slow movement of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto 2.)

Atterberg's very next work after the concerto is included on this CD. The Ballade and Passacaglia comes closer to pastiche (of Grieg's Ballade, op. 24, and similar works) than does anything in the concerto. I expect it will grow on me over time. The CD opens with Atterberg's opus 1, a Rhapsody for piano and orchestra that proves something more than a work of promise. He had big talent from the get-go.

I was not familiar with the soloist, Love Derwinger, before hearing this CD. He comes across as an artist of distinction. I would be happy to hear him in mainstream repertoire. And if, in a century's time, the Atterberg concerto has entered the mainstream, Derwinger will have demonstrated why that could have happened long before.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasant and welcome music, well performed, in good but not entirely impressive sound 31 Dec. 2015
By John J. Puccio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If the first few moments of Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg's Piano Concerto sound a lot like the Grieg Concerto, it probably isn't coincidence. Atterberg freely admitted an admiration for his fellow Scandinavian. Atterberg (1887-1974) is another of those artists whose works are important but seldom recorded. Perhaps they were only important in their time, and their time has come and gone. Nonetheless, it's lucky for us that companies like CPO (and Naxos and so many other labels) are keeping lesser-known composers in the public eye.

The Piano Concerto is the focus of this disc, although it's preceded by a delightful little Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra that's full of exotic charm, and it's followed by the Ballad and Passacaglia, equally brief (about ten minutes) but equally fetching.

Then, in between, comes the Piano Concerto of 1936, which is foremost on the program, as well it should be. Besides beginning with a homage to Grieg, it settles into a series of powerful and rhapsodic statements of quite sophisticated, albeit slightly melancholy, orchestral proportions. After that is one of the loveliest (and again slightly melancholic) slow movements I've heard in some time. The finale, marked "Furioso," seems to me a little out of keeping with its somewhat subdued antecedents, but it does ease up at the end.

I admit that a previous disc of this composer's Third and Sixth Symphonies (CPO 999 640-2) did not impress as much as this one did, perhaps because of the Piano Concerto's further infusion of folk and blues elements. Whatever, I found it a minor treasure that I'm glad I got to hear. What's more, pianist Love Derwinger plays enchantingly, Maestro Ari Rasilainen keeps the pace moving sweetly, and the orchestra play it with a marked degree of enthusiasm.

As with CPO's earlier disc of Atterberg material, however, the sound is not overly impressive. There's nothing really wrong with it per se, mind you, but it doesn't impress one with any degree of transparency, impact, or stage depth. Rather, it just sort of hangs out there doing its own thing unobtrusively, if a bit softly and flatly.
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