Urspruch: Piano Concerto & Symphony
Bosch, Marcus; Triendl, Oliver; Fritzsch, Georg; North West German Philharmonic Orchestra
During his lifetime Anton Urspruch was an internationally highly regarded German representative of late romanticism. After his early death, however, he unfortunately was quickly forgotten. Apart from choral orchestral compositions and two pieces for violin and orchestra, Urspruch wrote only one symphony and one piano concerto, both of which, however, met with great recognition. The Piano Concerto op. 9, composed shortly prior to the symphony and in the same key of E flat major, has astonishingly little to do with Liszt and much to do with Brahms. Although the piano part is properly virtuosic and demands eminent talent on a thoroughly Lisztian level, the ambitiously designed work is actually more a symphony for piano and orchestra. The instrumentation of his symphony is in principle of classical character and often pleasurably sonorous and also shares a certain predilection for the oboe with its model, and he too combines Beethovian texture and its frequent shifts of tempo with romantic emotion. The themes are oscillating and reflective, exhibit staying power, and intensify to dramatic upswings. A marvelous rediscovery!