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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 8 October 2008
Andreas Staier is one of the most highly-regarded keyboard players around, well-known for his harpsichord and fortepiano expertise. This 5-CD box set was released by Warner Classics in 2007 and brings together 5 seperate Teldec recordings made between 1995 and 2000. All 5 dics are excellent.

The fortepiano sounds quite different from today's grand pianoforte. It's rather quieter and a little bit "twangy" to listen to; I have to say I rather like the sound.

CD 1 comes from 1995 and features two concertos by Salieri and one from Steffan. You might have come across Salieri in connection with Mozart - maybe Salieri was the better musician! Steffan I know less about, but his concerto comes from 1780-90. Staier works with the excellent HIP band, Conerto Koln on this CD, as he does with the other concerto selections.

CD 2 features sonatas from Clementi a precursor of Beethoven who, although Italian, spent many years in England at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Staier keeps the attention with this varied programme.

CDs 3 and 4 feature Mozart with his concertos 9, 17, 18, and 19. If you have never heard the fortepiano, these are the selections to start with - wonderful stuff.

CD 5 features two concertos from John Field, who eventually drank himself to death in Russia in 1837. Good, imaginative stuff.

For well-played and recorded "off the beaten track" music, you will do very well here. I should dock ½ a star due to the poor booklet, but the card box the CDs come in is quite attractive.

A great bargain and highly recommended.
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