Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ries: Where Beethoven and Chopin meet?

Ferdinand Ries: Piano Concerto; Swedish National Airs with Variations; etc.

# Composer: Ferdinand Ries
# Conductor: Uwe Grodd
# Performer: Christopher Hinterhuber
# Orchestra: Gävle Symphony Orchestra
# Release Date: September 25, 2007

Naxos and its affiliates have been introducing us the forgotten composers such as Hofmann, Vanhal and Kraus for two decades, and Uwe Grodd's recent recording of Ries's Piano Concertos, Vol. 2 is another delight.

Ries, the most famous pupil of Beethoven, was a prodigious pianist and composer. His works weaver into the Beethovenian symphonic power and the Chopinian lyrical melody. His debt to Beethoven was not only in his keyboard study but also in a lasting friendship, in which Beethoven generously sponsored his pupil for years.

This recording with Austrian pianist Christopher Hinterhuber and Gavle Symphony Orchestra has a particular lyrical beauty that is ever pushing the piece to a sense of Romantism mostly found in Hummel and later Chopin. Hinterhuber is best known for his interpretation of Mozart and Bach. Studied with Rudolf Kehrer, among others, at the Universiy for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Hinterhuber adopted a playing, to say the least, very Austrian. You can actually hear the ingenuity in the notes, which have acquired some kind of quality to flow and drop down like water in a stream.

Gavle Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest in Sweden, dating back to 1912.

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