CD BAM 9909
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Mozart - Schumann - Bach

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The Overture from Don Giovanni  I?  Give up the ladies?  I need them more than food or drink or the very air I breathe! …. Don Giovanni.
Don Giovanni’s justification for his philandering ways is that to be true to one woman is to neglect the rest. Having travelled Spain breaking the hearts of hundreds of ladies, he returns to his hometown where his crimes, with steps heavy as lead, begins to catch up with him.

The best of all is when a good composer, who understands the stage, and is talented enough to make sound suggestions, meets an able poet…that true phoenix”  ...MozartThat is the first sound of the Overture: echoing, unyielding footsteps overshadowing Don Giovanni’s own energetic and virile theme which falters and spends itself just before the curtain rises. Perhaps Vienna preferred entertainment to social comment because Don Giovanni  was only moderately successful when it had its first showing there in May 1788. This must have disappointed Mozart, as this was not the opera’s premiere. The first performance took place – to great acclaim – at the Nationaltheater in Prague on the 29 October 1787.

Robert Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
. This is Schumann’s only completed piano concerto, though not his first attempt. In 1829, he worked on a concerto in F minor and in 1831, he composed a concerto in F, however, neither were finished. Together with Tchaikovsky’s First and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A, Schumann’s is one of the most beloved of all Romantic piano concertos. In several ways, this concerto is a more sensitive and gentler work than its contemporaries are, yet it lacks nothing in bravura. Until 1845, Schumann always composed at the piano, and with his unique understanding of the instrument, it is clear it was written by a pianist for a pianist. He composed the first movement in Leipzig in 1841 as Fantasie in A minor though he did not complete the rest of the concerto until 1845. Clara gave the first performance in December 1845 in Dresden with Ferdinand Hiller conducting. She also gave its second performance on 1 January 1846, when Mendelssohn conducted it in Leipzig where it was highly esteemed. While Schumann’s ‘Spring’ Symphony has literary connotations, the Piano Concerto in A minor has no programme to help us understand it. Simply, it is a romantic study in complete music and one may be tempted to read into it an expression of the love Schumann felt for Clara. After all, in the first movement, Affettuoso means ‘affectionately’.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Piano Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056.  Bach often looked through his earlier compositions to find the material for his new works. In the BWV 1056, he combines the two fast movements of a violin concerto and the slow movement of an oboe concerto; both have later vanished. The largo movement from the BWV 1056 later provided the material for the overture of cantata BWV 156 “Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe”. Clearly a string of compositions links the young Bach in Weimar with the older Bach in Leipzig composing the first piano concertos in our musical literature.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
1. The Overture from Don Giovanni   6:19

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) 
Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Piano Concerto in F Minor
, BWV 1056


Allegro affettuoso
Intermezzo-andantino grazioso
Allegro vivace





Total Time 46:30

download digital quality MPEG3 sound sample
Free mp3 sample from track no. 2, Schumann Piano Concerto in A
Mischa Manz, Piano
The New Russia Orchestra  Dmitry Yablonsky, Conductor.  

DDD Digital Recording.
Moscow Radio Studio Five, 5/1999
&   1999 - 2006 Bel Air Music. Made in EC. All rights reserved.

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