Title - 'Gál - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra'
Artist - Sarah Beth Briggs
For those not in the know, Hans Gál OBE (5 August 1890 – 3 October 1987) was an Austrian-British composer, teacher and author.
Bringing to light another of Hans Gál's gorgeously melodic and finely crafted scores, AVIE presents the world premiere recording of the Austrian émigré's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with English pianist Sarah Beth Briggs supported by Gál aficionado Kenneth Woods conducting the Royal Northern Sinfonia.
Written in 1948, Gál's large-scale romantic concerto abounds with sweeping phrases and pyrotechnics, yet at the heart of the piece lies the composer's signature clarity and precision, making the work an ideal coupling for his 18th century Viennese compatriot Mozart's great E-flat major concerto of 1785.
As for Sarah Beth Briggs, well, the British classical pianist was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician competition at the age of 11 in 1984 and one of the youngest recipients of a Dame Myra Hess Award at the same age. She was joint winner of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg at the age of 15.
She studied in Newcastle, York and Birmingham with Denis Matthews, in Switzerland with one of Claudio Arrau's most renowned students, Edith Fischer and, through a Hindemith Foundation chamber scholarship, with Bruno Giuranna.
1. GÁL: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 57 (1948)
2. MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482 (1785)
The cadenzas selected for the Mozart Concerto, by Denis Matthews (originally written for Dame Myra Hess) also receive their first recorded performance on this disc. Simply put, Gál - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra is a truly wonderful, inspiring work of classical art, and something that should be adored by all connoisseurs of such music - time after time after time.