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Piano Concerto

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, May 29, 2007
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Piano Concerto in C major: Moderato maestoso
  2. Piano Concerto in C major: Andante con moto
  3. Piano Concerto in C major: Pesante - Fast
  4. Pierrot in der Flasche, suite from the ballet: Pierrot in der Flasche: Vorspiel, 1. Szene
  5. Pierrot in der Flasche, suite from the ballet: Zwischenspiel - Festmusik
  6. Pierrot in der Flasche, suite from the ballet: Orientalische Liebesszene
  7. Pierrot in der Flasche, suite from the ballet: Tanz der fliegenden Teufel
  8. Pierrot in der Flasche, suite from the ballet: Trauermarsch, Todestanz, Finale


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 29, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000OQDRQO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,172 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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The more I hear of his music the more I become convinced that Erich Zeisl (1905-1959) is one of the most seriously neglected composers of the first half of the twentieth century. Zeisl was one of many Austrian Jews who left for America in the 1930s, and like his compatriot Korngold he ended up in Hollywood – though his success there was definitely eclipsed by Korngold’s (and by Zeisl’s own pupil Jerry Goldsmith). Korngold may be an apt starting point for describing Zeisl’s musical style as well; it is rooted in romanticism, but there is less champagne and glitter than in Korngold’s music; it is in one sense more “civilized”, but at the same time more stylistically daring and unconventional. Korngold leavened with Hindemith, perhaps. Or perhaps Miklos Rozsa might be a better comparison, though Zeisl does ultimately not really sound anything like Rozsa. “Eclectic” might be a fitting description as well, but if it is eclectic (and Pierrot in der Flasche certainly goes through a dizzying array of musical styles) the different influences are also melded together into a unified, personal style that is at the same time recognizable and novel.

The piano concerto is a major find; marvelously inventive and finely constructed with a spacious, flowing and memorable opening movement, a wonderfully wistfully reflective second movement and a spectacularly enjoyable finale. Yes, much of it is borderline kitschy in the way Korngold’s music often is, but it never crosses that border and has a tinge of reflective dreaminess that Korngold does not – and while the tonal language is rooted in romanticism it is certainly spiced up with some (slightly honed down) angularity and modern effects.
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