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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66729
Recording details: April 1994
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: March 1995
Total duration: 21 minutes 33 seconds

'Unmitigated joy … I haven't enjoyed a concerto record more all year' (The Sunday Times)

'Brilliant performances' (Classic CD)

'Superlative performances' (The Scotsman)

'Demidenko is in his element with such music. His control of contrasting dynamics is astonishing, and the clarity of his passagework is unfaltering. Not the least exciting feature of these superb performances is the marvellously appropriate cadenza which Demidenko improvises for the first movement of the E flat Concerto. The recording is magnificent. Don't miss this one!' (Musical Opinion)

'Makellose Technik und musikalischen Verstand—eine Kombination, die man bei Pianisten heutzutage immer seltener antrifft. Und ganz nebenbei versprühen die Aufnahmen so viel Vitalität. Frische und erlichen Enthusiasmus, dass sie neben dem Interesse und der Neugierde auch die Stimmung des Hörers zu beflügeln verstehen' (Fono Forum, Germany)

'Scintillating performances' (Piano, Germany)

Piano Concerto No 2 in E flat, J155 Op 32
Peters Edition

Allegro maestoso  [8'57]
Adagio  [5'40]
Rondo: Presto  [6'56]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
According to his diary, Weber bought a copy of Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ in early 1811. His response was to write a concerto not just in the same key, but complete with a partially muted string Adagio in B major and a rumbustiously galloping closing rondo in 6/8. The E flat Concerto is both Weber’s ‘Emperor’ and an eloquent Beethoven homage. Virtuoso keyboard figuration (arpeggios, octaves, thirds) and an optional cadenza (here improvised by the soloist) profile the first movement. The romantic Adagio Benedict called ‘a gem’. Its gran espressione, ringingly projected melody and powerful chordal climax, is unforgettable. On the one hand, the rondo (written first, in the autumn of 1811) deals in extrovert gestures and a wide-skipping, physically involving refrain. On the other, it is concerned with an extraordinary species of teasing, fragmented orchestration—witness the strange clarinet, flute and cello solos in the episode beginning bar 118, together with the subsequent (unpredictable) redistribution between piano and violin (bars 251 and following). The Second Concerto was a favourite ‘visiting card’ of Weber’s. He played it often, always to popular acclaim.

from notes by Ates Orga © 1995

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