Kalkbrenner: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 4

Kalkbrenner: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 4

Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)


More superlative performances of early 19th-century concerto repertoire from Howard Shelley and his Tasmanian Orchestra. Following on the heels of Moscheles and Herz, this time it’s Kalkbrenner, another of those virtuosi hugely acclaimed in their time and now forgotten. Kalkbrenner’s music bridges the gap between the classical and romantic styles and such was his fame that his presence in Paris resulted in that city becoming the pianistic centre of the romantic movement in the 1830s with Chopin, Liszt and Thalberg all basing themselves there; indeed Chopin originally planned to study with the older composer, only declining when Kalkbrenner told him he must not play in public for three years while under his tutelage.

Both concertos are very much of their time, bursting with scales, arpeggios, thirds and octaves in their outer movements and lavishly decorated operatic ‘bel canto’ melodies in their slow movements. The fourth concerto is a first recording.

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