Brilliant Classics

Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes de Style et de Perfectionnement, Op.143

Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes de Style et de Perfectionnement, Op.143
Composer Friedrich Kalkbrenner
Artist Tyler Hay piano
Format 1 CD
Cat. number PCL10190
EAN code 5029365101905
Release December 2019

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About this release

A groundbreaking collection of studies by one of the 19th century’s leading keyboard lions. By the early 1830s, the celebrated virtuoso Friedrich Wilhelm Michael Kalkbrenner was at the height of his pianistic powers. It was at this time that Chopin moved to Paris and found Kalkbrenner to be the finest pianist he had heard: ‘Herz, Liszt and Hiller are all zeros next to Kalkbrenner.’

The Etudes Op. 143 show an extraordinarily mature and creative side to Kalkbrenner’s ability as a composer, despite having been largely neglected. They were conceived at the same time as Chopin’s 12 Etudes op 10 and a number of important similarities can be discovered through the study of both sets. These 25 character pieces are as musically concise as they are technically useful and the rich variety of characters and colours provide us with one of the most interesting and contrasting sets of studies in the piano literature.

As well as showpiece demonstrations of Kalkbrenner’s own stupendous technique, such as the ascending and descending broken octaves of No.1 and the evocation of a storm at sea in the Fifth, there are several more subtle musical tone-paintings. No.6 has the warmest and most intimate melody in the collection, clearly influenced by operatic writing. No.13 has a haunting, magical texture of rippling quick notes accompanying a melody line pitched as if for a lyrical cello.

Such variety of ideas makes the collection as richly satisfying to listen to as it is challenging to play, culminating in a tarantella loosely based on a theme from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Born in 1994, the British pianist Tyler Hay has made a speciality of such prodigiously demanding but little-known Romantic repertoire, and he contributes his own, illuminating booklet notes to this new recording. His previous albums for Piano Classics have met with wide acclaim. ‘Tyler Hay is a formidable pianist, and I will look forward to more fine recordings from him. Piano and Ogdon enthusiasts will not want to risk missing it.’ (Ogdon, Piano music, PCL10132, Fanfare magazine)

Friedrich Kalkbrenner (1785-1849) was born in Kassel, Germany. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, then went to London for several years but eventually settled in Paris, where he became a fashionable and celebrated pianist and composer. When Chopin moved to Paris in the 30ties he was mightily impressed by Kalkbrenner. He said “Herz, Liszt and Hiller are all zeros next to Kalkbrenner”. However Kalkbrenner’s arrogant and self-indulgent manners and his not-so-fashionable compositions finally led him into oblivion.
Kalkbrenner had one of the most polished and “perfect” techniques ever witnessed. His Etudes Op. 143 show an extraordinarily mature and creative side to his ability as a composer, despite having been largely neglected. Conceived at the same time as Chopin’s 12 Etudes op 10 and a number of important similarities can be discovered through the study of both sets. These 25 character pieces are as musically concise as they are technically useful and the variety of characters and colours provide us with one of the most interesting and contrasting sets of studies written.
Young British pianist Tyler Hay presents a masterful performance of these studies, relishing in all the virtuoso challenges and with a keen ear for the simple beauty of them. Tyler Hay made his name with a stunning recording of original piano works by John Ogdon on Piano Classics, as well with an impressive Liszt

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: I. Leggiero e Vivace in F Major
  2. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: II. Moderato in F Minor
  3. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: III. Presto in B-Flat Minor
  4. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: IV. Moderato in B-Flat Major
  5. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: V. Allegro furioso in A Minor
  6. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: VI. Moderato in F-Sharp Major
  7. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: VII. Allegro furioso in C Minor
  8. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: VIII. Allegrissimo in C Major
  9. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: IX. Poco Allegro in E-Flat Major
  10. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: X. Allegro e molto staccato in E Minor
  11. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XI. Moderato quasi adagio in C Major
  12. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XII. Molto allegro in A-Flat Major
  13. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XIII. Moderato e legato in F-Sharp Minor
  14. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XIV. Molto allegro in B Minor
  15. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XV. Brillante in C Major
  16. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XVI. Moderato e espressivo in C-Sharp Minor
  17. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XVII. Tempestuoso in F Minor
  18. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XVIII. Non troppo allegro in A Major
  19. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XIX. Molto appassionato in E-Flat Major
  20. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XX. Moderato in G Major
  21. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XXI. Risoluto e agitato in G Minor
  22. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XXII. Presto, molto agitato in G-Sharp Minor
  23. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XXIII. Molto allegro in E Minor
  24. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XXIV. Vivo e agitato in B-Flat Major
  25. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: 25 Grandes Etudes, Op. 143: XXV. Toccata allegrissimo in C Minor
  26. Friedrich Kalkbrenner: Variations brillantes sur une mazourka de Chopin, Op. 120