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The Pfitzner Concerto was premiered by Gieseking (and Fritz Busch) in 1923; it is a work that deserves recognition, and its restrained Romanticism sits well with the more heart-on-sleeve Braunfels. Romantic at times but with a harmonically unsettled undercurrent, the first movement finds the ideal interpreters here. Laudably, Becker doesn’t try to make the Scherzo sound like Mendelssohn, although one can’t miss the parallels, while the twilit slow movement with its distant horn calls is the clear highlight.

Walter Braunfels’ Tag- und Nachstücke (1933/4) is a five-movement piece for orchestra with piano obbligato. It is mysterious and atmospheric, even glowing. The third movement is a devilish scherzo with Germanic humour, the Adagio sensual.

An outstanding release.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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