Romantic Piano Concertos, Vol.4 CD
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Postscript to the above. Bortkiewicz's 1st piano concerto was long regarded as a "fun piece", something to be enjoyed but not taken too seriously. But when his two magnificent symphonies, postdating the 1st concerto by over 20 years, resurfaced a few years ago they alerted us to the truth that here was a composer of real substance. My attention has been drawn to the recent recording of his 2nd and 3rd piano concertos (see comment attached to this review), and having listened to them my admiration and enthusiasm for Bortkiewicz are reinforced. The performances are dazzling and the lushly dramatic music, permeated with Bortkiewicz's distinctive vein of yearning nostalgia, is closer in harmonic style to the more technically advanced symphonies. The 2nd concerto for the left hand is surely the equal of Ravel's and far more attractive. And you may wonder why his magnificent 3rd isn't a regular in the concert hall. Listen to its rousing climax and you'll be cheering.Read more ›
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This is the first recording of the complete Bortkiewicz concerto. He too studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, but he also studied at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he came under the influence of the conservative German tradition.
The two piano concerti are worth visiting. Arensky's fantasia is extra icing.
This CD provides ample evidence that there are many little known composers whose work is very worthy of examination.
Thank you, Hyperion.