Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Senecio (1922) by Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67870
Recording details: May 2012
City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by David Hinitt & Mike Panayiotis
Release date: June 2013
Total duration: 18 minutes 36 seconds

'The Concerto for piano and wind … places huge demands on soloist, conductor and also recording engineers, all of whom sail through unscathed by the technical problems and the difficult sonorities' (Gramophone)

'With Steven Osborne as soloist, the concertante works are in exceptionally good hands … after the Capriccio's grandiose opening, Osborne's tight control of the piano's insistent, driving textures provides a firm foundation for the opening movement's unexpected humanity and charm' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This superb disc on which Steven Osborne manifests both his rhythmic élan and his refined sense of tonal shading, underpinning the performances with virile energy … the string-orchestra Concerto in D and two pithy orchestral miniatures complete an outstanding album' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Osborne and Volkov judge them perfectly—keeping the Concerto, as well as the slightly later Capriccio, on a tight rein, and threading a lucid path through the thickets and intricacies of the Movements' (The Guardian)

'A wonderfully ebullient, rhythmically alert performance, and the recorded sound captures the work's utterly individual sonorities very well, with crystal clarity. Volkov's conducting has a drive and energy that matches Osborne's thrilling performance of the solo part … the Capriccio is only rarely heard in the concert hall, but it deserves to be played much more often, and from Osborne it receives the most persuasive advocacy. I don't think I've heard a more immediately engaging recording of the piece … the notes by Charles M Joseph are a mine of information and the recorded sound is excellent. Philippe Entremont and Stravinsky himself are impressive in the Concerto for piano and wind but Osborne and Volkov are lighter on their toes and theirs is a really splendid performance (I can't think of a better one on CD)' (International Record Review)

'This fine Stravinsky series … Steven Osborne plays all with diamantine brilliance' (The Sunday Times)

'The outstanding work here is the Concerto for piano and wind instruments, played by Osborne in a way that finds wit in the rhythmic quirks while lending substance to the music's 18th-century references … alert accompaniments from the BBC SSO under Ilan Volkov' (Financial Times)

Concerto for piano and wind instruments
composer
1923/4; piano, winds and double basses; dedicated to Natalie Koussevitzky; first performed by the composer in May 1924 in Paris, Sergei Koussevitzky conducting

Larghissimo  [6'39]

Other recordings available for download
Marios Papadopoulos (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Apollonian virtues of neoclassicism’s clarity and leanness, to which the composer had been steadily drawn, were made unmistakably evident in his landmark Octet for wind instruments of 1923. Immediately following the Octet came the Concerto for piano and wind instruments, wherein the piano takes on a virtuoso concertante role, partnering an equally important wind ensemble (with no strings other than double basses). The Concerto was written in Biarritz in 1923–4 and dedicated to Natalie Koussevitzky, whose husband, Sergei Koussevitzky, conducted the May 1924 premiere in Paris with Stravinsky as the soloist. This three-movement work opens with a Largo written in the style of a French Overture. The stylized dotted rhythms quickly give way to a mechanistic Allegro reminiscent of many of the hard driving movements found among Bach’s keyboard Partitas and English Suites. The form of the first movement is somewhat akin to a classical concerto, complete with a developmental middle section that brings to mind the Czerny and Hanon keyboard studies familiar to all budding pianists. The recapitulation leads to a rhythmically complex, jazzy piano cadenza in the style of Gershwin, disclosing just how taken by American jazz, especially ragtime, Stravinsky had become. The movement ends with a return to the opening stately French Overture material.

The middle movement, originally written as a Larghissimo but changed to Largo in the revised 1950 score, incorporates a wondrously serene cantabile style of piano writing not often found in Stravinsky’s music of the 1920s. The movement’s two melismatic cadenzas carry a very rare rubato marking, while the pianistic writing is clearly rooted in the highly ornate filigree so often encountered in the slow movements of Beethoven’s early piano sonatas.

The closing Allegro, with its percussive opening material built around open fourths and fifths, exhibits a satirical pastiche blending café tunes, jazz rhythms and even a Baroque-styled fughetta that appears out of nowhere. Taken as a whole, the movement bears a clear relationship to the keyboard toccatas of the eighteenth century, with rapid changes of contrasting and often seemingly unrelated material. Stravinsky performed the work nearly fifty times over the next few years, and its success spawned the composition of several subsequent works for solo piano, two pianos, piano and orchestra, and piano and violin.

from notes by Charles M Joseph © 2013


Other albums featuring this work
'Janáček: Capriccio; Stravinsky: Piano Concerto' (CDA66167)
Janáček: Capriccio; Stravinsky: Piano Concerto

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch