Ferdinand Ries was a confidant of Beethoven and a composer and pianist who followed him rather slavishly. Well known during his lifetime, he was gradually forgotten after his death. This isn't hard to understand, for his works are on balance imitative; other composers of the era understood Beethoven's example better by either avoiding it (Schubert) or trying to match its extremity (Mendelssohn, in the Symphony No. 2). Yet the revival of Ries' works helps modern listeners understand how Beethoven's contemporaries heard his music. This disc, part of a series on the Naxos label devoted to Ries' piano concertos, contains a pair of works that gives a good impression of his music.
No critic in his/her right mind would assert that Ferdinand Ries' piano concertos are in the same aesthetic class as Beethoven's works in the same form. Like the concertos of his early Romantic contemporary Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Ries' works are far more about showing off the soloist and entertaining the audience than are Beethoven's more nobly conceived and executed masterpieces. Still, one would have to have a critical heart of stone not to be beguiled by Ries' thoroughly attractive concertos. As played here by pianist Christopher Hinterhuber with Uwe Grodd leading the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, three of Ries' works for piano and orchestra receive splendidly performed and wholly persuasive readings.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Ferdinand Povel's one of those players we never seem to get enough of – a tenorist who may not be one of the bigger stars on the European scene, but one who always finds a way to serve up something special! Povel's got a nice edge in his horn at times – a mode that's always inside, but often sharply spoken – even when he's going for some mellower moments too – a bit of old school bite in the way he approaches the reed, maybe – and a definite sense of attack that really comes on when he's in a more swinging mode! The group here has some great guitar from Wim Overgaauw, whose ringing tones bring a bright balance between Povel's horn and the piano of Frans Elsen – and the rest of the group features Victor Kaihatu on bass and Ruud Pronk on drums.
Five Piano Concertos and the Piano Sonata No. 32, opus 111, recorded in stereo in 1962 and 1964, respectively, by Wilhelm Kempff [1895-1991] and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Ferdinand Leitner [1912-96]. The sonata, the composer’s last, is certainly more than a mere filler, from the opening hesitancy of the ‘Allegro con brio ed appassionato’ to the extended closing section of the second movement.
Conductor Ferdinand Leitner (1912-96), learning his trade from masters like Walter, Busch, Richter and Karl Muck (as rehearsal pianist at Bayreuth), gained the experience that lead to his being dubbed the "singers' conductor" by all who worked with him during a long and lustrous career marked by his tenure as Zurich Opera music director (1969-84) and some 300 commercial recordings. The 1970s-80s Bayreuth stalwart, bass-baritone Franz Mazura as Tamerlano and famed American lyric soprano Helen Donath as Asteria headline this 1966 Leitner-led performance of Handel’s Tamerlano.