Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67843

Piano Concerto No 3 in A minor, Op 107

1829; dedicated à son Excellence le Prince Talleyrand

Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Recording details: June 2010
Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Produced by Ben Connellan
Engineered by Veronika Vincze
Release date: March 2012
Total duration: 24 minutes 11 seconds


'Shelley is a formidable presence both as soloist and conductor. Yes, he has the technique and dexterity to play this music; but he also understands how to make the most of the orchestral writing (which … is frequently more interesting than Chopin's) … there's a considerable grace to his playing too—his immersion in repertoire of this period has given him an innate understanding of what makes it tick' (Gramophone)

'Howard Shelley attacks it all with gleeful extravagance. He is also directing the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from the piano as he plays music of often atrocious difficulty, which is something of a tour-de-force in itself. It's great fun' (The Guardian)

'Howard Shelley's virtuosity is seemingly effortless, even in the face of pianistic pyrotechnics which are prodigious in the extreme and seemingly endless too … a wonderful beauty and variety of tone, and carefully judged rubato and rhythmic nuances which give an air of improvisation to the constant embellishments of the slow movements … the support of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra is no less distinguished, both in sonority and ardour, carrying the listenere through the extended orchestral expositions with real narrative sweep and ardour … Jeremy Nicholas' notes are excellent and the recording captures every detail and refinement of Shelley's stunning performances' (International Record Review)

'Shelley reminds us of why he is so suited to this repertoire: the sparkling passagework is impeccably and suavely delivered. Interaction between piano and orchestra is beautiful: the flute additions to the piano's ornamnentation are delightful … [The Adagio ed Allegro is] a magnificently chosen filler, a bonne bouche that perfectly showcases Shelley's considerable talents without making any real demands on the listener. Kalkbrenner remains an interesting figure, and these works deserve attention' (International Piano)
Piano Concerto No 3 in A minor Op 107 (1829) is dedicated ‘à son Excellence le Prince Talleyrand’, no less (Kalkbrenner was an incorrigible name-dropper). It has the same conventional line-up as No 2, retaining the trombone but adding a piccolo and parting with the timpani. As in Op 85, Kalkbrenner sets out his stall not with themes that lodge in the memory but with motifs that act as springboards for a dizzying succession of constantly varying étude-like passages: rapid repeated notes, lightning arpeggios in thirds and sixths, athletic octaves, and filigree flights to the top of the keyboard and back. The martial nature subsides at 6'52'' into a quieter legato e cantabile solo in 9/8, reminiscent of a Field nocturne. Thus far, the more than eleven minutes of music have been in A minor/C major. After a quasi-cadenza and 360 bars, Kalkbrenner modulates to A major and stays there for the remainder of the movement which ends in a riot of octaves and extended trills, reminiscent of Hummel. A brief recitative section (Maestoso sostenuto) entitled ‘Introduzione del Rondo’ replaces a slow movement. The Rondo itself (Allegro vivace) is as graceful and charming as anything Kalkbrenner penned. It demands a delicate leggiero touch and refined technique to bring it off with the requisite debonair twinkle.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2012

Le Concerto pour piano nº 3 en la mineur op. 107 (1829) est dédié à rien moins que «Son Excellence le Prince Talleyrand» (Kalkbrenner, incorrigible, ne pouvait s’empêcher de mentionner des gens en vue). Il présente la même formation conventionnelle que le concerto nº 2, en conservant le trombone, mais en ajoutant un piccolo et en renonçant aux timbales. Comme dans l’op. 85, Kalkbrenner commence non par des thèmes qui restent en mémoire mais par des motifs servant de tremplins à une vertigineuse succession de passages façon étude, constamment variés: rapides notes répétées, éblouissants arpèges en tierces et sixtes, octaves vigoureuses et envolées filigranées jusqu’au haut du clavier puis retour. À 6'52'', la nature martiale s’efface devant un solo legato e cantabile plus paisible, à 9/8, qui rappelle un nocturne de Field. Jusque là, c’est-à-dire pendant onze bonnes minutes, la musique a été en la mineur/ut majeur. Passé une quasi-cadenza et trois cent soixante mesures, Kalkbrenner module en la majeur et s’y tient pendant le reste du mouvement, qui s’achève dans une débauche d’octaves et de trilles prolongés, renouvelés de Hummel. Un bref récitatif (Maestoso sostenuto) intitulé «Introduzione del Rondo» remplace le mouvement lent. Le Rondo même (Allegro vivace) est ce que la plume de Kalkbrenner donna de plus gracieux, de plus charmant. Il faut un subtil toucher leggiero et une technique raffinée pour le mener à bien avec le scintillement débonnaire qui s’impose.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeremy Nicholas © 2012
Français: Hypérion

Das Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 a-Moll op. 107 (1829) trägt die Widmung „Seiner Exzellenz dem Prinzen Talleyrand“, nicht mehr und nicht weniger. (Kalkbrenner war unverbesserlich, wenn es darum ging, bedeutende Namen ins Gespräch einfließen zu lassen.) Die Struktur ist ähnlich konventionell wie bei Nr. 2; es behält die Posaune bei, fügt aber die Piccoloflöte hinzu und verzichtet auf die Pauken. Wie in op. 85 stattet Kalkbrenner sein Stück nicht mit Themen aus, die sich ins Gedächtnis einprägen, sondern mit Motiven, die als Sprungbrett für eine verwirrende Abfolge von ständig wechselnden, etüdenartigen Passagen fungieren: schnelle Notenrepetitionen, blitzende Arpeggien in Terzen und Sexten, athletische Oktaven und filigrane Flüge in die Höhen des Klaviers und zurück. Die martialische Stimmung legt sich bei 6'52'' und weicht einem ruhigeren Solo legato e cantabile im Neunachteltakt, ähnlich einem Nocturne von Field. Bisher waren die über elf Minuten Musik in a-Moll bzw. C-Dur. Nach 360 Takten und einer Art Kadenz moduliert Kalkbrenner nach A-Dur und bleibt dabei bis zum Ende des Satzes, der in einem Tumult von Oktaven und ausgedehnten Trillern endet, wieder einmal an Hummel erinnernd. Ein kurzes Rezitativ (Maestoso sostenuto), „Introduzione del Rondo“ tituliert, ersetzt den langsamen Satz. Das Rondo (Allegro vivace) ist so elegant und reizvoll wie alles aus der Feder Kalkbrenners; es erfordert einen feinfühligen Leggiero-Anschlag und eine ausgefeilte Technik, um es mit dem nötigen lockeren Augenzwinkern darzustellen.

aus dem Begleittext von Jeremy Nicholas © 2012
Deutsch: Ludwig Madlener

Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...