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Flotow: Piano Concerto No 1 & 2, Jubel Overture, Etc / Petersson, Wiesheu, Pilsen Po


Release Date: 11/25/2008 
Label:  Sterling   Catalog #: 1077   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Carl Petersson
Conductor:  Hans Peter Reutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Pearlescent romantic era luxury.

Flotow was born near Rostock in North Germany. His family was musical but considered the profession unbefitting the family’s aristocratic status. Young Friedrich was intended for the civil service. After tribulations he managed to secure the family’s support to study in Paris with Pixis and Rejcha. It was there that he met Wilhelm Riese, the Hamburg-born poet. who provided the librettos for several of his operas including the one work that has kept Flotow's name prominent: the 1847 Martha.

His First Piano Concerto runs to only 14 minutes. It has a chivalric Allegro, a bejewelled Adagio recalling Chopin and Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto and a
Read more bobbing and gallant Rondeau with heroic cross-currents. Schumann and Bellini can be discerned among these pages. The Second Concerto is scarcely longer at approaching 18 minutes. It is in four movements: a noble lapidary Andantino may remind you of the slow movement of The Emperor. After a very brief skipping and bowing Scherzo we have an unhurriedly unfurling and luxurious Adagio. Proceedings close with a hop and jump Rondo which has something of early Tchaikovsky about it. The Jubel Overture with its decidedly fairy-delicate second subject must have had Mendelssohn as an influence. It's an attractive overture with just a surfeit of bombast at the close. As for the incidental music to Wilhelm von Oranien in Whitehall the introduction is stiff and stormy with some stagy Hungarian bagpipe music. The Act II Andante unfolds a long slow Tchaikovskian strand of melancholy. I mentioned bombast earlier - you can hear it again in the brassy strut of the Act III Maestoso where Rule Britannia is played verbatim. After this we get a Rossinian skittishness, a dignified Andante and a grand final Moderato.

There’s really good playing by the Pilsen orchestra and the lustre of their string choir - often a weakness in orchestras outside the greats - is excellent. No problems at all. Wiesheu who also provides the liner-notes has included the 1992 premiere of Kempff's last orchestral piece Un Giorno a Positano and the first German performance of Donizetti's cantata Parafrasi del Christus in his honours list.

There you have it. Premiere recordings of music by a romantic era composer. Will appeal to anyone who know they will enjoy music in the thrall of Schumann, the showier sentimental Chopin and the lyrical Beethoven. It’s all done with style, documented deeply, and performed and recorded with commitment and skill.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor by Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Carl Petersson (Piano)
Conductor:  Hans Peter Reutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in A minor by Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Carl Petersson (Piano)
Conductor:  Hans Peter Reutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831 
3.
Jubel Overture by Friedrich von Flotow
Conductor:  Hans Peter Reutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857 
4.
Wilhelm von Oranien in Whitehall by Friedrich von Flotow
Conductor:  Hans Peter Reutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861 

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