We popped over to Belgium to check out classical music's newest concert hall.
Discover two lesser-known composers in this charming album of Romantic piano concertos. Drive Featured Album, 15 October 2012
A rare opportunity to hear music from from two composer-pianists, Johann Peter Pixis and Sigismond Thalberg, who both featured in Liszt's composition, Hexaméron, alongside fellow composer and piano virtuoso, Chopin.
Pixis' Piano Concerto in C major is by no means out-of-the-ordinary, but its triumphant trumpet chords in the first movement and shimmering strings in the second are waiting to be discovered. A delightful addition comes in the form of the third movement's bright high piano accompanied by meaty plucked strings in the orchestra. The Piano Concertino shows off the composer's sensitive side with prominent clarinet, oboe, and flute tunes in the first movement, and long flowing piano scales in the second.
Thalberg's addition to the album comes in the form of his Piano Concerto in F minor. One of the forgotten virtuosi of the 19th century, this is Thalberg's only piano concerto, and it's well worth a listen. The Adagio is pleasant, with piano lines that twinkle over the orchestra, but it's the Rondo that's the true gem of the concerto, with its lively rhythms and tunes giving it a distinctly Chopin-esque feel.
It's a pleasing album, giving an insight into what's went on behind the scenes while Chopin and Liszt stole the limelight, with some Romantic music that shouldn't be left in the dark.