Magazine article Gramophone

Steibelt: 'The Classical Piano Concerto, Vol 2'

Magazine article Gramophone

Steibelt: 'The Classical Piano Concerto, Vol 2'

Article excerpt


'The Classical Piano Concerto, Vol 2'

Piano Concertos--No 3, 'L'orage', Op 33; No 5, 'A la chasse', Op 64; No 7, 'Grand concerto militaire'

Ulster Orchestra / Howard Shelley pf

Hyperion (F) CDA68104 (80' * DDD)

This is the second volume of Hyperion's Classical Piano Concerto series, one that was launched with Howard Shelley leading the Ulster Orchestra in a delightful disc of Dussek (A/14). For Vol 2 Shelley has turned to Steibelt, learning an awful lot of notes in the process, and it's difficult to imagine these three concertos receiving more compelling performances. Whether that was time well spent is another matter.

Berlin-born Daniel Steibelt (17651823) is best known for two things: challenging Beethoven in a battle of the keyboards (and proving a bad loser when the inevitable happened), and for his L'orage Concerto, in which a pastoral finale is rudely interrupted by a weather front, conjured by dramatic piano tremolos and swirling scales, before blue skies return.

The most convincing moments in these pieces are those that sound Mozartian, though it can't be said that Steibelt is either a conjurer of memorable melodies or harmonically a deep thinker. …

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