The Romantic Piano Concerto - 55CHARLES-MARIE WIDOR (1844-1937): Piano Concertos No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 39 and No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 77, Fantaisie in A Flat, Op. 62.
Catalogue Number: 11N002
Reference: CDA 67817
Description: Composed in 1876, the first concerto is a half-hour long work of powerful and noble aspects in its first two movements - the slow movement especially poetic, with recollections of Schumann and Liszt - while its finale has a genial, bouncing theme which could have been written by Saint-Saëns. The second (1905) is more concentrated (19:28 total timing) but there is still a powerful sense of passion, grandeur and rich orchestration. These are world premiere recordings; the 1889 Fantaisie, one of the first in what would prove to be a fruitful genre for French composers, at just over 22 minutes, is longer than the second concerto and Widor makes much use and weaves many transformations (in Franckian manner) of the first melody heard at the work's beginning. As in the concertos' slow movements, the slower sections of the Fantaisie have the same exalted sense of noble philosophizing. Markus Becker (piano), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Thierry Fischer.