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d'Albert: Solo Piano Music / Piers Lane

D'albert / Lane
Release Date: 05/14/2013 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55411   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Eugène d' Albert
Performer:  Piers Lane
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Eugen d'Albert (1864-1932), born in Glasgow, Scotland, identified himself increasingly with German music as his career developed. Much admired as a keyboard phenomenon by his teacher Liszt (in whose class he was known as "The Little Giant"), by von Biilow, and by many other distinguished pianists and composers of his time, he was also known for his edition of the Beethoven piano sonatas. Basically self-taught, he composed prodigiously—operas as well as instrumental music. His picaresque life included six marriages (one to the famous pianist Teresa Carre?o)— none of which lasted very long, but produced several offspring.

D'Albert's piano music, not surprisingly, reflects his interest in German music, chiefly the
Read more great piano composers—Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms. It also served as a vehicle for his virtuosic technique, of course. There is a good deal of variety in this selection of d Albert's works. The 26-minute Sonata is not completely successful, but it does reveal d'Albert's thorough craftsmanship in the way he handles sonata form and in his mastery of complex counterpoint (the finale is a triple fugue). He is clearly at his most imaginative best with the short character pieces comprising the bulk of the music on this CD. The earlier pieces (from op. 16 and op. 5) recall the youthful Schumann piano sets, but there is also more than a hint of Brahms, as well as the Romantic fluff of such contemporary piano composers as Moszkowski. The five Capriolen, with fanciful titles such as "Butterfly singed its wings" and "The Circus is coming!," date from 1924 and reflect much more of a 20th-century sound.

All of this music is played splendidly by Piers Lane, who, like his Australian compatriot Leslie Howard, has made virtuoso piano music a specialty (Lane has previously recorded works by Moszkowski, Paderewski, transcriptions of Johann Strauss by Godowsky et al.). Lane's technique is masterful; everything is fluent, brilliant, and utterly clear; the passagework ripples effortlessly, while the slow pieces are played with poetic phrasing and sensitivity. The notes, written by Lane, are exemplary, providing just the kind of background information that is informative and useful.

Piano lovers will want this recording in their collections.

– Susan Kagan, Fanfare, reviewing original release, Hyperion 66945 Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano in F sharp minor, Op. 10 by Eugène d' Albert
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
2.
Pieces (8) for Piano, Op. 5 by Eugène d' Albert
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
3.
Serenata by Eugène d' Albert
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
4.
Capriolen, Op. 32 by Eugène d' Albert
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1924; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
5.
Pieces (4) for Piano, Op 16: no 2, Scherzo in F sharp major by Eugène d' Albert
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
6.
Pieces (4) for Piano, Op. 16: no 3, Intermezzo by Eugène d' Albert
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 

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