on 3 March 2009
ditto the earlier reviewer - this is idiomatic and mozart/early-beethoven (slightly light) but edifying, communicative, touching and vivid in its own right. If you want to add to a cherished collection of Beethoven and Mozart piano concertos then you can't go far wrong with this, it certainly doesn't gather dust on my shelf.
This well recorded disc from 2003 forms part of the series of Hummel's piano concertos performed with sympathetic style and considerable virtuosity by Howard Shelley. The concerto on this disc is a large conception and was the first of Hummel's concertos which was evidently intended to be an impressive calling card from a new player on the block so to speak.
This status of Hummel should not be dismissed too lightly by modern audiences as Hummel achieved considerable success both as a pianist and as a composer throughout his life and earned the respect of Beethoven in both regards amongst others. He also held influential posts at court. Generally his music was aimed at giving pleasure rather than education. Consequently it falls easily on the ear and is lyrical in nature. There are cascades of notes to provide entertainment, especially including trills and triple trills - acrobatic feats popular at the time.
Since his death, Hummel's star has waned but, as this series plainly shows, his music is well written and well with enjoying for what it is. This would also apply to the two Rondos on this disc as well as his various pieces of chamber music available elsewhere. I would suggest that he could be described as a top quality second rank composer. A similar description could be applied to Spohr, Berwald, Krommer and Crusell for example. All of these composers still reward listeners with plenty of musical reward.
I would therefore suggest that this well played and recorded disc is certainly worth investigating and it is unlikely that the contents are likely to be better delivered.
on 8 January 2013
I've always had a soft spot for Hummel as one of a group of excellent composers that have been unjustly overshadowed by their contemporaries Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. I hadn't heard his piano concerto in C, but what a revelation! Highly tuneful, well crafted and unjustly neglected. Oh, and it's well played too. If you like music of the classic era, this is to be thoroughly recommended.
on 21 April 2011
Discovered on Classic FM, CD found on Goggle, ordered, delivered quickly, free, in perfect condition by Amazon. A perfect system. Suits me fine.