Rediscovering significant piano music of the past


Rediscovering significant piano music of the past

by johnkersey

We live in an age of mysteries. The omnipresence of today’s recordings of classical music, many of which are of little-known repertoire, might lead us to believe that there is little left of the past to discover. Yet we have only to move back in time by a little over a hundred years to find the ghosts of a forgotten Romanticism waiting to be reanimated and to present to us an aesthetic very different from that of our own age. This was the era when the piano was at the centre of musical life; at the heart of the home and at the crux of the conception of the Romantic as artist.

Romantic Discoveries Recordings seeks to present innovative world première recordings informed by extensive research into the performance history of the Romantic era, and recorded in a natural ambience evoking the acoustic of the typical Romantic salon. These are not intended to be audiophile releases; instead, they are interpretatively faithful performances that aim at an honest, direct and sympathetic portrayal of music that is being introduced to the listener for the first time.

“His catalogue represents a huge contribution to the recorded repertoire of piano music by romantic unsungs…I have several of these CDs now and I must pay tribute not only to Kersey’s advocacy but also to his pianism. He has a fine technique but isn’t showy and he lets the music speak for itself. There’s something very appealing about this self-effacing, honest approach.” Mark Thomas, The Joachim Raff Society

“A great feast for the Beethoven connoisseur” (of CD19) James Green, author, The New Hess Catalog of Beethoven’s Works

“A true and nowadays unique artist, a pianist who has discovered a quantity of really unsung and memorable piano music…In my view, it is at the moment the most remarkable serial of unsung piano music of a high level, so not “lovely pieces” from days gone by, but the ambitious search for original and lasting works.” Dr. Klaus Tischendorf, Burgmueller.com

Audio samples

Some of our CDs have short audio samples available as Mp3 files, enabling you to download a track and listen before deciding whether to purchase. To listen to the tracks, you will need an Mp3 player. Many computers already have a media player installed. If you do not already have a media player, you can download the free FLV player available here. Alternatively, you may like to listen to the two hours of online sample tracks here.

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2 responses to “Rediscovering significant piano music of the past

  1. What a delightful surprise. Thank you, Mr. Gabb, for passing this along.

  2. I was brought up on the Third Programme, which became the Music Programme and ultimately Radio 3, from which I gained a knowledge of classical music to rival many a professional musician. That was in the days when they had knowledgeable and informative announcers. I gave up on Radio 3 when it went all Irish trying to emulate that idiot on Classic FM.
    It was only when I discovered internet radio that I realised how narrow was the spectrum of music that the BBC played, much of it resembling the musical equivalent of those grey concrete East German tower blocks. Of course there was plenty of good music as well but the BBC seemed to lean towards bland or occasionally aggressive nihilism.
    With the advent of internet radio I discovered a veritable galaxy of composers I had never heard of, many of them very good indeed, if not quite in the same league as Beethoven. One of my favourites is Kurt Atterberg, who worked at the Swedish patents office for over fifty years and wrote nine wonderfull symphonies. Then there is Hans Rott, friend of Mahler, who sadly was committed to a sanatorium after holding a pistol to the head of a fellow train passenger who was attempting to light a cigar, claiming that Brahms had packed the train with explosives which would go up if he struck a match. He died aged twenty five. You mentioned Joachim Raff, who was so poor that when he was jailed for debt he claimed it represented an improvement in his living conditions, and who walked for miles in the pouring rain to hear Liszt play, only to find the concert sold out. Liszt took pity on the wet young man and provided him with a seat on the stage, where he sat amid a growing puddle of water.
    And that’s before I mention the dozens of wonderful Russian composers. I could go on …..
    I think what you doing here is wonderful, and I shall be investigating the links you provide. Well done sir.