MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 88a, Suite on Russian Themes, Op. 79b.
Catalogue Number: 10W007
Description: The Russian pieces are orchestrated from a violin-piano suite of 1903 with some new material added, the source for all being mostly from a collection made by Alexander Balakirev. The orchestration reveals two of Bruch’s personal preferences: the instrumental colors of the alto register, in particular of the English horn, the clarinet and the viola, and that of the harp. The concerto has its origins in an orchestral Good Friday Suite with organ obligato from 1904 that he reconfigured for two American pianist sisters who made the piano parts more brilliant and premiered it in Philadelphia at the end of 1916. The manuscript did not surface again until 1967, a history which explains its rather low recording profile. Mona & Rica Bard (pianos), Staatskapelle Halle; Ariane Matiakh.