How to Build a Classical CD Collection

22. Grieg: Piano Concerto / Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 2

Among the best known romantic piano concertos is the single concerto by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, a leading figure in musical nationalism in his own country. A pianist himself, he displays in his piano concerto a fine command of harmonic colour. In an earlier generation Mendelssohn too was a gifted pianist, continuing classical traditions in his two concertos, which nevertheless make full use of the solo instrument as it had developed. Franz Liszt, a near contemporary who outlived Mendelssohn by nearly forty years, was a virtuoso to end all virtuosos, his phenomenal technical ability as a pianist coupled with a sure musical command and an innovative temperament as a composer. Liszt moves the piano concerto into new territory.

Recommended recording
Grieg: Piano Concerto with Jeno Jandó and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra under Andrés Ligeti. Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 2 with Benjamin Frith and the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra under Robert Stankovsky. Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 with Joseph Banowetz and the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra under Oliver Dohnányi. Naxos 8.553267

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