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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: 15 minutes 52 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)

Konzertstück in F minor, J282 Op 79

Tempo di Marcia  [1'48]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Admired by Liszt (who published his own version, with variants), the F minor Konzertstück was first mentioned in a letter to the critic Rochlitz, dated 14 March 1815. This makes clear that Weber from the outset had some kind of programmatic concerto format in mind, since, as he put it, ‘concertos in the minor without definite, evocative ideas seldom work with the public’ (he refers to parting, lament, profoundest misery, consolation, reunion, jubilation). Subsequently in 1821 (on 18 June, the day of the Berlin premiere of Der Freischütz), he played through a version to his wife, Caroline, and Julius Benedict, explaining (according to Benedict):

The lady sits in her tower: she gazes sadly into the distance. Her knight has been for years in the Holy Land: shall she ever see him again? Battles have been fought; but no news of him who is so dear to her. In vain have been all her prayers. A fearful vision rises to her mind—her knight is lying on the battlefield, deserted and alone; his heart’s blood is ebbing fast away. Could she but be by his side, could she but die with him! She falls exhausted and senseless. But hark! What is that distant sound? What glimmers in the sunlight from the wood? What are those forms approaching? Knights and squires with the cross of the Crusades, banners waving, acclamations of the people; and there!—it is he! She sinks into his arms. Love is triumphant. Happiness without end. The very woods and waves sing the song of love; a thousand voices proclaim its victory.

Weber neither wrote down nor prefaced the score with these words. But, loosely, they mirror something of the music’s incident.

Structurally, the work falls into four movements, played without a break—a slow introduction, a brilliant Allegro passionato, (an Adagio link), a skirling woodwind march, (a brisk transition), and a Presto giojoso 6/8 finale. Pianistically, the march is famous for just one solo entry—a blazing octave glissando into the fortissimo tutti, timed and placed to dramatic perfection within a context otherwise inconsequential. The whooping glissandi of the finale are as electrifying.

from notes by Ates Orga © 1995

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