Mendelssohns/Schumanns: Piano Concerto in E minor (reconstructed Todd); Konzertsatz in D minor;Piano Sonata in G minor; Das Jahr (excerpts)

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Mendelssohns/Schumanns
LABELS: Koch
WORKS: Piano Concerto in E minor (reconstructed Todd); Konzertsatz in D minor;Piano Sonata in G minor; Das Jahr (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Jennifer Eley (piano) ECO/Sayard Stone
CATALOGUE NO: 3-7197-2
Hands up anyone who knows Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in E minor. Neither did I. And Schumann’s D minor Konzertsatz? Ditto. And how about the other works on this disc? Given the ludicrous glut of mainstream repertory now clogging the catalogues, this is exactly the kind of thing more record companies should be doing and Koch is to be warmly congratulated.

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The Concerto, of which this is the premiere recording, has been expertly reconstructed by R Larry Todd from manuscripts now in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It appears to be a kind of run-through for the famous Violin Concerto in the same key, which would make it contemporaneous with the Scottish Symphony, ie, dating from around 1842. And while it makes for thoroughly enjoyable listening, it cannot be classed in quality with either of its well-known siblings.

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The Schumann was written and discarded roughly a decade before his completion of the great A minor Piano Concerto and from the listener’s point of view it falls into much the same category as the Mendelssohn. All the music is very capably (though not brilliantly) performed and excellently recorded. Jeremy Siepmann