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Kabalevsky: Complete Piano Concertos / Fancis, Korstick, NDR Radiophilharmonie

Kabalevsky / Ndr Radiophilharmonie / Francis
Release Date: 08/28/2012 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777658   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri KabalevskyFranz Schubert
Performer:  Michael Korstick
Conductor:  Alun Francis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Kabalevsky’s piano concertos have been well served on disc recently, with new recordings on Naxos and Chandos. The First concerto is the most ambitious, a bit long for its material, and heavily influenced by Prokofiev (his Second concerto, but without the spice). After this piece, the other three concertos become more concise, closer in style to (say) the Second concerto of Shostakovich. In other words, the music is colorful, tuneful, and completely “Socialist Realist”, but it’s good, clean fun and it’s helped immeasurably by Michael Korstick’s light, brilliant, and effervescent way with the piano parts. Along with the always reliable Alun Francis, the First concerto sounds unusually cohesive, while the original 1935 version of the Second Read more comes off as a major statement.

The complete Kabalevsky music for piano and orchestra includes the equally tuneful Rhapsody, and a wonderful surprise: an arrangement of Schubert’s Fantasy in F minor D. 940 for piano four hands as a full-fledged piano concerto (complete with an interpolated cadenza in the finale). This work has been transcribed for orchestra by several different hands, notably Ernst Rudorff and Felix Mottl, but this arrangement is by far the most successful even if, or perhaps because, Kabalevsky provides a fully modern orchestration and doesn’t try to recapture Schubert’s own idiosyncratic scoring. The result is completely successful as an individual work of art in its own right and a real find; you can hear the start of the finale in the sound sample attached. Excellent engineering makes this two-disc set a thoroughly recommendable proposition.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in A minor, Op. 9 by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Michael Korstick (Piano)
Conductor:  Alun Francis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; USSR 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 23 by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Michael Korstick (Piano)
Conductor:  Alun Francis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Moscow 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in D major, Op. 50 "Youth" by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Michael Korstick (Piano)
Conductor:  Alun Francis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Russia 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 4 "Prague" by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Michael Korstick (Piano)
Conductor:  Alun Francis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; Moscow 
5.
Fantasy for Piano 4 hands in F minor, D 940/Op. 103 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Michael Korstick (Piano)
Conductor:  Alun Francis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged for piano and orchestra by Dmitri Kabalevsky. 
6.
Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 75 by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Performer:  Michael Korstick (Piano)
Conductor:  Alun Francis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; USSR 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 9: I. Moderato quasi andantino
Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 9: II. Moderato - Allegro assai
Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 9: III. Vivace marcato
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 23: I. Allegro moderato
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 23: II. Andantino semplice
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 23: III. Allegro molto
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50: I. Allegro molto
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50: II. Andante con moto
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50: III. Presto
Fantasy in F minor (after F. Schubert's D. 940): I. Allegro molto moderato - Piu mosso - Tempo I
Fantasy in F minor (after F. Schubert's D. 940): II. Lagro
Fantasy in F minor (after F. Schubert's D. 940): III. Vivace - Cadenza: Rubato sostenuto - Largamente - Tranquillo (Tempo I) - Allegro marcato - Tempo I
Rhapsody on the theme of the song School Years, Op. 75: Rhapsody on the Theme of the Song School Years, Op. 75
Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 99, "Prague": I. Allegro molto e energico - Meno mosso: Improvisato - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 99, "Prague": II. Molto sostenuto: Improvisato
Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 99, "Prague": III. Vivo

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