Sunday, June 17, 2012

Moszkowski : Piano concerto in E, Op 59 - David Bar-Illan

David Bar-Illan – pianist, author and journalist, and champion of the best piano concerto you don't know, the Moszkowski. 

What can I say? From the opening bars, you know you're in for a great time. The theme sweeps in and Bar-Illan responds with a real sense of how to play this repertoire, the ebb and flow of the music. Maybe he plays the slow movement with a little too much faith in its beauty (most players take it a shade faster) but the scherzo, which grows organically out of the slow movement, takes off with a puckish delight that is utterly infectious. 

If I have a reason for loving this concerto madly, it's Moszkowski's wonderful idea at the end of the first movement, when the music slows right down, and the piano and orchestra muse on a theme from heaven. 

Bar-Illan recorded the concerto commercially, but I've never heard it. This broadcast, in excellent sound, is from the vaults of Dr J (thanks!). 

David Bar-Illan, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Alfredo Antonini
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