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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67385
Recording details: September 1999
ABC Odeon, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Produced by David Garrett & Howard Shelley
Engineered by Andrew Dixon
Release date: May 2003
Total duration: 22 minutes 11 seconds

'Shelley’s expertise, his immaculate charm and brio cast a brilliant light on every page. His Tasmanian orchestra is with him all the way and Hyperion’s sound and balance are of demonstration quality. An exemplary issue; I can scarcely wait for Volume 3' (Gramophone)

'a thoroughly enjoyable disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'played with a taste and vivacity that reflect the temperament of the music … The thing that strikes you most about this music is its lively originality' (The Daily Telegraph)

'I defy anyone not to be captivated by this delightful, witty, rhythmically vital and spontaneously inventive work, especially when played as stylishly as here' (International Record Review)

'Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra give solid accounts of these intriguing scores' (The Times)

'Shelley’s nimble, elegant playing, while leading his excellent Tasmanian players, is a musical wonder' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Howard Shelley's account of the First, Sixth and Seventh of the eight Moscheles piano concertos provides powerful argument for their return to the repertoire' (International Piano)

'This disc … boldly captures the irresistible energy and sanguine life of Moscheles’ music' (Music Week)

'freshly performed and directed by Howard Shelley … No need for Hyperion to do anything other than hold their heads high over this one' (MusicWeb International)

Piano Concerto No 1 in F major, Op 45

Allegro maestoso  [9'14]
Adagio  [6'33]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Piano Concerto No 1 in F major appeared first in 1818, and was published the following year under the title of ‘Society Concerto’ (Gesellschafts-Konzert) with a dedication to Count von Appony. Moscheles returned to it in 1823 and issued a revised version for future publications. It stands alone among his concertos for its restraint and lack of technical ostentation, and its nearly classical purity points to its being designed at least partly for his pupils. The perceptive listener cannot fail to recognise the deeply ingrained influence of Mozart’s concertos, above all in the structural perfection, but also at times in the orchestration (note the treatment of the horns near the end of the first movement and especially in the finale). But the music exudes an ebullience, a sunny quality of unfettered joy, which makes the phrase ‘Haydn meets Rossini’ come almost more aptly to mind. It is notable that Rossini told Moscheles in 1860 that he had enough flow of melody to write an opera (Moscheles’ rejoinder was “What a pity that I am not young enough to become your pupil!”). The opera remained unwritten, but the piano’s beautiful A minor melody at the start of the slow movement reveals a love and sure understanding of the cantando style. It is repeated later by the orchestra, hauntingly simplified, and supported by pianistic embroidery; the movement rises to a magically quiet A major close. The Rondo brims with happiness and wit, accelerating towards the end and even including a miniature ‘Rossini crescendo’ as if as a culmination of the audience’s pleasure.

from notes by Henry Roche © 2003

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