Friedrich Kalkbrenner was a highly respected pianist in his day, though he was later eclipsed by the likes of Chopin and Liszt. Still, his First Concerto is pretty terrific; the minor key isn't used to plumb the depths of emotion so much as it is to keep the music harmonically fascinating, and you may well find yourself riveted as the composer springs one surprise after another. He sustains the 15 minutes of the opening movement effortlessly, through good tunes and brilliant keyboard showmanship, and if the music exists primarily to entertain it certainly does so with style and grace.
The Fourth Concerto, perhaps owing to its major-mode orientation, strikes me as a touch less interesting, though it's no less full ofRead more scintillating writing for the soloist, and as with its partner the tunes themselves are quite fetching. Howard Shelley plays both works with the panache that they require, and given the fact that he seldom has much of a chance to take his hands off of the keyboard, the Tasmanian Symphony stays with him admirably every step of the way. Hyperion's sonics are also better than some other releases from this source, being well balanced and flattering to both soloist and orchestra. These truly enjoyable concertos may be rarities in the concert hall, but you may find them becoming staples at home.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Great piano concertsJanuary 19, 2017By Fulvia B. (Warrenton, VA)See All My Reviews"This is a nearly forgotten composer that should be upgraded among the great composers of his time!"Report Abuse
Beguiling and FreshMay 24, 2012By Anthony G. (SANTA FE, NM)See All My Reviews"This music will captivate you and make you wonder why Kalkbrenner's music is not heard more often. One would want to hear more of his work.Chopin missed an opportunity to study with Kalkbrenner. One can only wonder how much greater Chopin's music would be, and it is great already, had he been able to study with THE MASTER. "Report Abuse