Naxos and affiliates are doing the music world a double favor, not just by recording this worthy music in fine performances, but also by publishing it (through Artaria Editions) so that others have the opportunity to play it. Let's hope that they do. Ferdinand Ries likely was Beethoven's most famous pupil, and if you've been collecting CPO's complete symphony cycle, you already know that he was a significant if not earth-shattering creative voice. Twenty years separate these two concertos. The earlier C major piece dates from 1806 and obviously recalls Mozart as its chief model (Beethoven's Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos had yet to appear). It's very pretty, tuneful, and effectively written for the soloist. Speaking of which, ChristopherRead more Hinterhuber plays extremely well, and presumably deserves credit for the excellent cadenza at the end of the first movement.
The Concerto in A-flat, subtitled "Gruss an den Rhein", represents a musical homecoming for the composer after many years spent in London. The triple-time opening movement might call to mind Schumann in his similarly ebullient "Rhenish" mood, as does the piano writing itself. If you've enjoyed the contemporary concertos of Hummel, then you will know what to expect: music halfway between Beethoven and Chopin. The increase in virtuosity goes hand in hand with a more relaxed formal organization. In the first movement the opening tutti is quite brief, and there are no formal cadenzas at all. This concerto deserves to return to the active repertoire, with Hinterhuber's elegance and verve (not to mention his nice, clean scales) making an excellent case for the work. Uwe Grodd also deserves credit for conducting the New Zealand Symphony with the requisite energy. To the credit of all concerned, the music never once sounds second rate. The sonics are very fine too. A real discovery, then, and best of all Naxos lists this as "Volume 1".
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 6 in C major, Op. 123by Ferdinand Ries Performer:
Christopher Hinterhuber (Piano)
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1806; Germany
Vol 1 of a Magnificent Series Superbly PerformedNovember 20, 2012By D. Stewart (Flagstaff, AZ)See All My Reviews"I cannot remember so eagerly awaiting releases, such as these, since waiting for Rudolf Serkin releases in the 50-80's. This Vol 1 did not disappoint. It, like the other Vols in this wonderful series, is just plain magnificent. All of Ries's piano and orchestral compositions are present within these 5 Vols. Ries's music is a sheer delight with hints of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Chopin. The orchestral writing is both energetic and at times contemplative with much attention to the horns, woodwinds, and tympani. But it is the piano writing that captures most of the attention, and I cannot imagine a pianist that plays it any better, or with such feeling and devotion, than the pianist on this 5 Vol Series, Christopher Hinterhuber. Once you have heard Vol 1(2005) you will be hooked on the performances, recording, and music. One used to have to wait for future Vols with enthusiasm -- and at times impatience. Fortunately all 5 Vols are now ready for you to enjoy. Though different Orchestras are involved in Vols 1, 2, 3 and 4 all are sympathetically and energetically conducted by Uwe Grodd and magnificently recorded, with the piano in just the right balance. You can also clearly hear all of the orchestral parts, and Ries makes them worth the listen. The pianist is in an almost constant, and I am sure quite difficult, spotlight and given a workout, but Hinterhuber makes it all sound natural and easy. All involved in this series deserve a Grammy. Listen to these performances at any time, but if you are having a bad day any one of these Vols will quickly get you in a more receptive and pleasant mood. For starters and the curious, Vol 5(2012) contains the first published concerto and the last, which makes for an interesting comparison, but there is no doubt that these were all written by Ferdinand Ries. Hurry. You will not be disappointed. These 5 Vols are all instant 5 star winners"Report Abuse