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Liszt, Mendelssohn, Clementi: Music For Piano & Chamber Orchestra

Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Profil   Catalog #: 9028   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz LisztFelix MendelssohnMuzio Clementi
Performer:  Ksenia Nosikova
Conductor:  William LaRue Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Corde Chamber Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

LISZT Malédiction. MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto in a. CLEMENTI Piano Concerto in C Ksenia Nosikova (pn); William LaRue Jones, cond; Pro Corde C Consort PROFIL 9028 (73:42)

These artists were unknown to me, but hearing them perform in this interesting collection of relatively unfamiliar pieces leaves me wanting to hear more from them. Russian-born Ksenia Nosikova is a graduate Read more of the Moscow Conservatory, after which she received a doctoral degree from the University of Colorado. At present she is professor of piano at the University of Iowa. She has concertized throughout the world as a solo and chamber musician, receiving high critical praise. William LaRue Jones received a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, and for many years has been a conductor of professional and youth ensembles throughout the world. He was principle bassoon of the Minnesota Opera and the Minnesota Ballet, and was first-call associate with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for over 15 seasons. A homegrown American conductor and a Russian-born American pianist have made an interesting and worthwhile, but not fault-free, recording.

What we have from Mendelssohn is a piano concerto written at age 12. This concerto is a testament of the composer’s childhood genius, which surpassed that of Mozart and that of Schubert. The influences of Mozart, C. P. E. Bach, and early Beethoven are apparent, but an original stamp is clearly present throughout. The orchestral parts are scored for strings only, in keeping with the scoring of the string symphonies of the same early teen years. In 33:2, I reviewed pianist Dinorah Varsi’s performance of this Concerto with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under Michael Hofstetter. I used the phrase “consummate musicianship” to describe my reaction. This does not apply here, fine though the playing may be. The pianists are both comparably excellent, but the Pro Corde Chamber Consort under Jones’s direction is no match for the tonal and rhythmic security of Hofstetter’s Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. The fault mentioned above is in the Adagio, a beautiful, dreamy piece rendered somewhat soporific by Jones and Nosikova’s extremely slow tempo.

The Malédiction for piano and strings, the earliest of Lizst’s 14 works for piano and orchestra, is a one-movement fantasia in typically Lisztian contrasting moods. The Clementi Concerto, modeled after Mozart’s piano concertos, is a delightful, although not profound, work. The playing of both these pieces is excellent.

This is a good disc to own for the Lizst and the Clementi, and also for the Mendelssohn, if you don’t have the Varsi/Hofstetter disc.

FANFARE: Burton Rothleder
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Works on This Recording

Malédiction, S 121 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Ksenia Nosikova (Piano)
Conductor:  William LaRue Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Corde Chamber Consort
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1840; Switzerland 
Concerto for Piano in A minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ksenia Nosikova (Piano)
Conductor:  William LaRue Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Corde Chamber Consort
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Germany 
Concerto for Piano in C major by Muzio Clementi
Performer:  Ksenia Nosikova (Piano)
Conductor:  William LaRue Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Corde Chamber Consort
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; London, England 

Sound Samples

Malediction, S121/R452
Piano Concerto in A minor: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto in A minor: II. Adagio
Piano Concerto in A minor: III. Finale: Allegro ma non troppo
Piano Concerto in C major: I. Allegro con spirito
Piano Concerto in C major: II. Adagio e cantabile, con grande espressione
Piano Concerto in C major: III. Presto

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