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Hyperion Records

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Der Wanderer über des Nebelmeer (c1818) by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
Kunsthalle, Hamburg / AKG-Images, London
Track(s) taken from CKD336
Recording details: November 2008
Perth Concert Hall, Scotland
Produced by James Mallinson
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: May 2009
Total duration: 35 minutes 10 seconds

'Pizarro brings the same alacrity and individuality to every one of these works as he did on the stage … these are not performances lacking in explosive voltage, as Pizarro's lightening dexterity in the 'Emperor' proves conclusively' (The Scotsman) » More

'Originally intended to include just the Third and Fourth Concertos, the addition of the Emperor was the happy result of Pizarro, Mackerras and his crack Scottish band powering through the original programme to leave time enough to capture the coupling. It's a mark of the journey they make, from the stormy, experimental sonorities of the Third to the majestic rhetoric of the Fifth via the tender lyricism of the Fourth that this turns out to be a remarkably coherent, hugely enjoyable offering rich in invention and altogether assured in execution. These studio readings exult in the vital spontaneity and alert reciprocity more typical of a live performance. Pizarro's blend of perfectly proportioned poetry, dancing lyricism and muscular prowess calls to mind earlier performances by Kempff, Kovacevich and Gilels while bringing a fresh, questing dynamism all his own to bear. He negotiates the tempestuous currents of the Third with an almost insouciant nimbleness that serves the music's impetuous, truculent demeanour. In the Fourth, he is lullaby-tender and effusively lyrical yet manages to retain the darkly alluring gravity that underpins its nobility and poise' (bbc.co.uk) » More

'Mackerras' „Klaviertrilogie“ behauptet sich durchaus ebenbürtig neben anderen legendären Einspielungen. Frei und luftig transparent klingt der Klangkörper, gleichzeitig auch schlank und filigran. Artur Pizarros Spiel integriert sich immer homogen mit dem Orchesterpart, kein Zaudern oder Abwarten kennzeichnet sein Spiel. Losgelöst von der Erdenschwere früherer Deutungsmuster manifestiert sich hier ein sanfter Beethoven, dennoch voller Farben, Licht und Kraft. Die Aufnahme steht für eine musikdramaturgisch sehr stimmige Interpretation, in die es sich einzutauchen lohnt' (Klassik.com, Germany) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING

Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor, Op 37
composer
1796-1803

Allegro con brio  [17'05]
Largo  [9'00]
Rondo: Allegro  [9'05]

Introduction
One of Beethoven’s earliest sketches for Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor, Op 37, dates from about 1796 and shows him already experimenting with new sonorities, with a prominent motif being allocated to the timpani part, which normally played only an accompanying role in orchestral music at the time. However, little progress was made on the work until 1800, when it was taken up in preparation for a concert that April. Unfortunately it was not completed in time and Beethoven had to substitute a different concerto (probably No 1). He finally completed No 3 in 1803 and at its first performance that year he played the piano part largely from memory as he had still not had time to write it out in full. His page-turner at the premiere, Ignaz von Seyfried, reports having had to turn pages that were largely blank apart from a few hieroglyphs that only Beethoven could read!

Although the first movement is stormy in character, it has a beautifully lyrical second subject and Beethoven cunningly transformed this theme almost beyond recognition to form the main theme of the sublime slow movement. This evokes a completely different and more exalted world, in the remote key of E major, with a reduced orchestra and muted strings. The key of C minor returns in the finale, but there is one brief excursion back to E major, as if recalling that exalted world before the music ends in a blaze of glory, in a triumphant C major.

from notes by Barry Cooper © 2009

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