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Stojowski: Piano Concertos

Import

3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 1, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sigismond Stojowski is a completely forgotten name to all but piano aficionados (and they certainly don't know him as 'Zygmunt' as Hyperion calls him – why? we never refer to, say, Liszt as Ferenc). In his day (1870-1946), his music was played by Paderewski (his teacher and friend), Hofmann, Friedman, Samaroff, Grainger, Kochanski, Enesco and Casals, his works conducted by the likes of Nikisch, von Bulow, Damrosch, Halle and Godard. If it was good enough for them, then it should be good enough for us and indeed listening to these, two of the most dramatic, high-spirited and melodically inspired concertos you have never heard, will make you wonder why we are force-fed a diet of the Tchaikovsky, the Grieg and the rest of today's overplayed fodder. Either of Stojowski's concertos, should they be included in the Proms, would take the roof off the Royal Albert Hall.The First Concerto (1890) is a conventionally structured, bold, skilfully worked virtuoso vehicle with the voices of its dedicatee (Anton Rubinstein), Chopin and Saint-Saens hovering in the background. The Second Concerto (1909-10) comprises a searingly passionate Prelude, a Scherzo, theme and ten variations. All concerned are kept fully occupied throughout its 33 minutes. Stojowski gave the premiere with Nikisch at Queen's Hall in 1913. It caused a sensation when Paderewski, the work's dedicatee, gave its second US performance in 1916. You can see why.This is a simply tremendous release. First, the balance between orchestra and soloist is ideal in the warm but focused acoustic of Dundee's Caird Hall. The Steinway is superbly well captured, heroically powerful but never shrill and with a caressingly lyrical tone at pp and below. Even in the loudest tuttis, the soloist remains a lively presence. Brabbins and Plowright seem to have an almost telepathic understanding of the music and each other's needs. Brabbins's contribution cannot be underestimated, drawing an energetic, characterful and hugely enjoyable response from his Scottish players. This is Plowright's debut recording for Hyperion. To those who have followed his steady and unspectacular career, his playing of these two flamboyant concertos will come as a revelation. He takes your breath away. His sincere musicality combined with thrilling, edge-of-the-seat pianism of the highest order is of the kind you rarely encounter in studio recordings these days. In other words, the Hyperion team present these unjustly neglected concertos in the best possible light, persuasive enough to convince those who characterize such music as 'high tosh' that they may be mistaken. A truly great recording, an award winner if ever I heard one. Jeremy Nicholas -- From International Record Review - subscribe now

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 3: Andante poco mosso - Allegro un poco maestoso - Lento, pococ a poco animato - Doppio mo
  2. Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 3: Andante sostenuto e molto cantabile
  3. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Prologue: Andante con moto
  4. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Scherzo: Presto
  5. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Tema: Meastoso e moderato molto
  6. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 1, Molto sostenuto
  7. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 2, Con espressione poco rubato
  8. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 3, Più mosso
  9. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 4, Allegretto
  10. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 5, Molto vivace
  11. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 6, Con fuoco, agitato
  12. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 7, Con moto, energico
  13. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 8, Andante sostenuto
  14. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 9, Andantino ben moderato
  15. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major ('Prologue, scherzo and variations'), Op. 32: Varations: Varation 10 (Finale), Allegro molto


Product details

  • Performer: Jonathan Plowright
  • Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
  • Composer: Zygmunt Stojowski
  • Audio CD (March 1, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00005Y0N8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,492 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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