Roberto Prosseda (pedal piano), Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Howard Shelley (conductor)
The Romantic Piano Concerto series reaches 62 and makes an interesting (although temporary) departure: these four works are for pedal piano (a piano which includes a separate keyboard for the feet, to be played rather in the manner of an organ). Gounod was inspired by the talent of the young and apparently very attractive Lucie Palicot (born circa 1860) whom he heard performing Alkan’s music for pedal piano in 1882. Gounod is far better known for his operatic and liturgical compositions: these works show a different side to this nineteenth-century luminary.
Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda makes his debut on Hyperion. He gave the first modern performance of Gounod’s Concerto for pedal piano and orchestra. His pedal piano repertoire also includes the original works by Schumann, Boëly and Alkan and new pieces written for him by Ennio Morricone, Michael Nyman and other contemporary composers.