Piano Concertos of the 1920s

Piano Concertos of the 1920s

Product Details

Performer: Michael Rische
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, WDR Sinfonie Orchester Köln, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Gunther Schuller, Wayne Marshall
Composer: Erwin Schulhoff, George Antheil, George Gershwin
Audio CD (June 14, 2005)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Arte Nova Classics

“A WELCOME EXHUMATION AMONG THESE CATCHY WORKS INSPIRED BY THE JAZZ AGE: Schulhoff’s Piano Concerto was completed in 1923 after he had been one of the first central European composers to respond to early jazz, which he heard on records owned by the painter George Grosz. Schulhoff was born in Prague but after studying at the Conservatory moved to Germany where his teachers included Reger. However he soon got over that conventional background and even mixed with the dadaists in Berlin.

This concerto is a neglected curiosity: Michael Rische claims to have given the first performance outside Prague in 1993. The first movement starts with some luscious romantic left-overs and ends with a menacing march; the second uncannily anticipates some of Messiaen’s personal chords under a beguiling melody; and the Allegro alla jazz finale is syncopated. The episodic layout includes two minutes in gypsy-style for violin and piano alone in the middle of the finale.

Antheil wrote his Jazz Symphony for Paul Whiteman in 1925 but it wasn’t ready so the première came in 1927 with WC Handy’s Orchestra and the composer at the piano…Antheil – far crazier than Schulhoff – sends up Stravinsky’s ragtime pieces and there’s a lengthy passage where the sage in procession from the first part of The Rite of Spring seems to have wandered into Ives’s Central Park in the Dark. At the end of his kleptomaniac exploits, the most shocking thing Antheil can possibly do is to quote somebody else’s pop song straight – and end on an interrupted cadence! The Gershwin gets a thoroughly reliable performance” -GRAMOPHONE (April 2004)

1. Concerto for piano & small orchestra ‘In one movement’: 1. Molto sostenuto. Allegro espressivo. Alla marcia maestoso
2. Concerto for piano & small orchestra ‘In one movement’: 2. Sostenuto. Cadenza. Molto sostenuto e astrattamente
3. Concerto for piano & small orchestra ‘In one movement’: 3. Allegro alla Jazz. Alla zingaresca. Tempo 1. Prestissimo
4. A Jazz Symphony, for piano & jazz orchestra (original version), W. 157a
5. Concerto in F, for piano & orchestra: 1. Allegro
6. Concerto in F, for piano & orchestra: 2. Adagio. Andante con moto
7. Concerto in F, for piano & orchestra: 3. Allegro agitato