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Franz Schmidt: Beethoven Variations For Left Hand

Audio Samples

>Schmidt, Franz : Variations on a Theme of Beethoven for piano left hand & orchestra
>Schmidt, Franz : Concerto for piano left hand (or piano) & orchestra in E flat major (no 2)

Album Summary

>Schmidt, Franz : Variations on a Theme of Beethoven for piano left hand & orchestra
>Schmidt, Franz : Concerto for piano left hand (or piano) & orchestra in E flat major (no 2)
Performer Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

As a composer, Schmidt dedicated himself to the piano usually only at the request of others. The pianist Paul Wittgenstein, for example, who had lost his right arm during World War I, asked him for compositions for the left hand. Schmidt wrote the Beethoven Variations in 1924 and then later, in 1935, the Piano Concerto for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra, both of which were premiered by Wittgenstein himself. Markus Becker, a pianist who for many years has dazzled the international concert, performs these impressively nuanced works really only with the left hand and once again shows that he is an "unbeatable virtuoso and music soul painter with understanding" (FAZ in June 2009).

Franz Schmidt continues to be regarded as an insider's tip and has not yet really received recognition matching his significance. This oversight should not and cannot keep us from classifying him as an original genius and one who possesses a tone unique to him alone. As a composer, Schmidt dedicated himself to the piano usually only at the request of others. The pianist Paul Wittgenstein, for example, who had lost his right arm during World War I, asked him for compositions "for the left hand. Schmidt went in on the deal and wrote the Beethoven Variations in 1924 and then later, in 1935, the Piano Concerto for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra, both of which were premiered by Wittgenstein himself. Markus Becker, a pianist who for many years has dazzled the international concert world as a master of interpretive design in the piano literature from Bach to Rihm, performs these impressively nuanced works really only with the left hand and once again shows that he is an "unbeatable virtuoso and musicsoul painter with understanding"

"This CPO release by pianist Markus Becker and the NDR Radiophilharmonie, conducted by Eiji Oue, presents both the Beethoven Variations and the Piano Concerto with expressive playing, coherent interpretation, and terrific sound. The piano and orchestra are well-balanced and carefully separated, so every part is audible, and the soloist is centrally placed and clearly heard, even when the accompaniment is at its thickest. Listeners who enjoy rich post-Romantic music and collectors of Schmidt's music will find this disc pleasurable and add it to their libraries posthaste." -All Music Guide

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Groáer Sendesaal des Landesfunkhauses, Niedersachsen de.



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Works Details

>Schmidt, Franz : Variations on a Theme of Beethoven for piano left hand & orchestra
  • Performer: Markus Becker (Piano)
  • Conductor: Eiji Oue
  • Notes: Groáer Sendesaal des Landesfunkhauses, Niedersachsen des NDR, Hannover, Germany (11/27/2006/11/28/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930-1931

>Schmidt, Franz : Concerto for piano left hand (or piano) & orchestra in E flat major (no 2)
  • Performer: Markus Becker (Piano)
  • Conductor: Eiji Oue
  • Notes: Groáer Sendesaal des Landesfunkhauses, Niedersachsen des NDR, Hannover, Germany (07/01/2006/07/02/2006)
  • Running Time: 43 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1934