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Rontgen: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 / Kirschnereit, Porcelijn, NDR Radiophilhamonie

Roentgen / Kirschnereit / Ndr Radiophilharmonie
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777398   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Julius Röntgen
Performer:  Matthias Kirschnereit
Conductor:  David Porcelijn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These two piano concertos date from an earlier period than the two violin concertos already released in this series. Piano Concerto No. 2 was composed in 1879 and shows the composer very close to his Leipzig school roots, while No. 4 dates from 1906. Like the later of the two violin concertos, it's more concisely structured than its predecessor, but otherwise is written in much the same style. What distinguishes Röntgen's music here, as elsewhere, is its strong melodic personality, and the sense that, even though the idiom is conservative, the composer has no damaging inhibitions. This is simply who he is.

The performances in this series have been very distinguished, by and large, and this disc is no exception. David
Read more Porcelijn is always a fine conductor of unusual repertoire; he makes the music sound easy, natural, and familiar. Pianist Matthias Kirschnereit plays with a very attractive sensitivity to Röntgen's colorful keyboard palette. There's a lot of figuration in the treble register in both of these works, but particularly in Concerto No. 2, and it never sounds pointlessly "tinkly" here. As with other volumes in this project, the engineering is very good. Röntgen wrote a lot of music, and he hasn't let us down yet.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com


CPO take a diversion from the symphonies into these two three-movement piano concertos of Germanophile Dutch composer Julius Röntgen.
The concertos owe their glossary to Brahms but this does not mean that they are to the same Olympian scale as the two Brahms concertos. In fact each runs to a couple of minutes either side of half an hour. The style of the Second Piano Concerto of owes a deep fealty to Brahms. One has the sense that Röntgen in 1879 had found the musical apple of his eye and would be feasting his creativity on that object. There is no doubting this. In fact the very oxygen and topography of the ideas derive from the Hamburg-born master. The first movement has that chiming pastoral high-mindedness you hear in the Grieg concerto - Grieg was a friend of Röntgen. The movement traverses stirring Olympian landscapes to attain idyllic introspection. Röntgen’s introspection looks upon internal realms and it is clear that what he finds is good and contents his mind. There is no anxiety here - only a tender absorption in beauty. The second movement is pervaded by centred calm. The finale breaks the spell with a dignified and grand Polish dance - delicious delicacy from 4:55 onwards. For all of my comments about Grieg and Brahms it should be borne in mind that in 1879 the Brahms Second Piano Concerto lay two years in the future though the Grieg had been written a decade earlier.
The shadow of Brahmsian confidence is still there in the wings for the Fourth Concerto. It’s strongly present in the unhurried romanticism of the Larghetto but moderated by a elysian romance - something between Beethoven and Chopin. The finale has a vigorously dancing exuberance. The Allegro is a faithful reflection of the mood of the two outer movements. The First movement lends an ear to the mysterious rumbling of Beethoven’s Ninth but this is a transitory presence. Soon the centripetal pull of Röntgen’s exalted Brahmsian calling asserts itself.
The performances and recording are mete companions to the overarching air of surging confidence and affectionate introspection. The capable and generously proportioned notes are by Röntgen biographer Dr Jurjen Vis. Another strongly perfumed entry in the Röntgen revivals.
For all of my usual comparisons these works are very satisfying and have some extremely beautiful, noble and fresh things to say. Just don’t look for high tragedy.
-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International   
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 2 by Julius Röntgen
Performer:  Matthias Kirschnereit (Piano)
Conductor:  David Porcelijn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Netherlands 
Concerto for Piano no 4 by Julius Röntgen
Performer:  Matthias Kirschnereit (Piano)
Conductor:  David Porcelijn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Netherlands 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Luxurious Performance December 18, 2016 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "The CD notes accompanying this superb disk do a very effective job explaining the background and musical style of Julius Roentgen, yet another composer brought back into the classical music 'big top' by CPO. German-born but ultimately Dutch, Roentgen was steeped in the musical tradition of Leipzig, Germany, and was personally associated with Brahms and Grieg. First and foremost a pianist, Roentgen surprisingly met with some criticism concerning the depth and overall quality of his orchestral compositions (this from the CD notes). I was intrigued by this comment, because my initial listen to this recording gave me the exact opposite reaction- powerfully articulated piano writing supported by a luxurious orchestral foundation, which at times showed elegant, restrained ambience, at other times massive and exuberant ebullience. The two piano concertos presented here by CPO are simply gorgeous works, and at times one can almost sense the Romantic nuances of Schumann and Grieg. One might even be able to sense Brahms lurking in the background when one concentrates on the quality of the piano and orchestra interaction and synthesis. Piano Concerto #2 dates from 1879, while #4 was written in 1906. The 27 year interval between these compositions may help explain the apparent shift in aesthetic emphasis from raw, uncompromising Romanticism (#2) to a more controlled, introspective, and searching attitude in #4. German pianist Matthias Kirschnereit plays these two concertos in a truly bravura fashion, and Hannover's outstanding NDR Radiophilharmonie under Dutch conductor David Porcelijn provides a wonderful accompaniment. I was really impressed with the quality of this recording, and it made me realize that Roentgen really has something worthwhile to say. A fine recording, and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend." Report Abuse
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