Mozart & Beethoven Transcribed - Versions by Liszt & Alkan / Paul Wee
One of Gramophone's Best Classical Recordings of 2022!
This recording brings together two of the greatest works of the Classical era in transcriptions for solo piano by two of the greatest pianist-composers of the Romantic era, resulting in two of the most thrilling experiences that nineteenth-century pianism has to offer. Successfully marrying the unique characteristics of the piano to the defining features of Beethoven’s orchestral writing, Franz Liszt is showed here at his most coloristic. He vividly captures the rapid scene shifts and mood changes of Beethoven’s Eroica and exploits not only the piano’s ability both to whisper and to roar, but also the power and intensity of silence. In Mozart’s 20th piano concerto, Charles-Valentin Alkan takes on a different challenge as he masterfully weaves the orchestral and solo piano parts into a single tapestry that brims from start to finish with piano writing of startling inventiveness and originality.
These two pianistic tours de force are presented here by Paul Wee – also a barrister specializing in commercial law at Essex Court Chambers in London – whose astonishing technique and passion for nineteenth-century pianism have been highlighted on acclaimed recordings dedicated to music by Alkan and transcriptions by Thalberg.
[Paul Wee's] fleet basic tempos for the opening movement and the Scherzo raise the bar for lightness, crisp articulation, and forward moving intensity, making his colleagues sound thick by comparison. Wee’s remarkable technique particularly impresses in the Finale’s incisively delineated counterpoint. What staggeringly even runs!–not to mention Wee’s ability to play rapid left-hand octaves more proficiently than most pianists can play single lines.
The main challenge of Alkan’s solo piano transcription of Mozart’s D minor concerto is to differentiate solo passages and orchestral tuttis by way of phrasing, touch, voice leading, smart pedaling, and dynamic control. Wee does this brilliantly throughout.
[A] transcendent achievement.
Release Date: October 07, 2022
Catalog Number: BIS-2615
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Paul Wee