Winding, Emil Hartmann

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COMPOSERS: Emil Hartmann,Winding
LABELS: Danacord
WORKS: Piano Concerto in A minor; Concert Allegro for Piano & Orchestra in C minor, Op. 29
PERFORMER: Oleg Marshev (piano); South Jutland SO/Matthias Aeschbacher
August Winding (1835-99) is unrepresented on CD (save for a couple of clarinet pieces) and his Piano Concerto shares this disc with another by his brother-in-law Emil Hartmann (1836-98), the son of JPE Hartmann. Winding was a friend of Grieg (as for that matter was Hartmann), who introduced his Overture to a Norwegian Tragedy to Oslo. Winding enjoyed a brief international career as a pianist before a nervous complaint forced him from the concert platform. His concerto makes brilliant gestures but is very derivative, much indebted to his teacher Gade and through him Mendelssohn. Its ideas are obstinately unmemorable and the eminently Schumannesque Concert Allegro is, similarly, discourse shorn of content. The Hartmann Concerto, composed in 1889, is less interesting than the Cello Concerto which Danacord issued recently, and is reminiscent of Weber and Schumann. If neither composer can be said to command a strongly individual voice, the Russian-born Oleg Marshev plays with such ardour and authority (and is so well supported by the Danish orchestra) that one is almost persuaded that they do. Careless proof-checking in the notes – the Winding concerto may share the same key as the Grieg but not the same opus number. Robert Layton