Known in his lifetime as 'the north German Schubert', Carl Loewe (1796-1869) is remembered today chiefly as a composer of ballads. Yet there is a considerable body of piano music that is strikingly innovative in content, expression and harmony, containing the germs of ideas later taken up by composers such as Wagner and Liszt. Loewe was unquestionably a brilliantly original talent, a major figure in ushering in the Romantic era.
Linda Nicholson, pianoforte
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Catalogue No: TOCC0278EAN/UPC: 5060113442789Release Date: 06.04.2015Composer: Carl Loewe Artists: Linda Nicholson
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Peter Burwasser :
This London-based label, dedicated to unearthing hitherto obscure music, never fails to fascinate, and occasionally offers true revelations. The piano works of Carl Lowe, a German composer who lived from 1796 to 1869, hover somewhere in between those characterizations, buoyed beyond the ordinary by superbly nimble construction and an exuberant sense of expressivity. … There is a Haydnesque charm here, not to mention the glee of the bubbly solo piano music that Rossini amused himself with (and consequently, the rest of the world) after he stopped writing operas. … Nicholson, playing a sweetly woody Collard and Collard keyboard from 1850, completely grasps the sunny charm of this music. —Fanfare Magazine, September 2015
Gerald Fenech :
“… The Gypsy Sonata (1847) is the only one of his five sonatas with a specific programmatic content. In five movements, the Sonata is a prime example of Loewe’s extraordinary gifted ability to paint musical pictures with great detail, and for its time, the work has an advanced technique regarding its idioms, harmonies and rhythms, evoking gypsy music at its best. … The other important piece on this disc is the Grande Sonate of 1829. Dedicated to one of Loewe’s closest friends, Fran Tilbein, the work is written in an intimate and sensitive style designed to appeal to her taste and possibly reflect her personality. In establishing a particularly touching and sensitive mood, Loewe was most certainly harking back to one of Beethoven’s most personal utterances, the Piano Sonata in E, Op 109. … The issue is completed by two short pieces: the Alpine Fantasy (1825) and Mazeppa of 1828. While the former conjures up a general image of the natural landscape, the latter is a fire and brimstone work, depicting the heroic exploits of Mazeppa as enacted in Byron’s literary masterpiece. In Linda Nicholson, Loewe has a wonderfully refreshing advocate. Her sustained and fluid precision brings out all the innovative and brilliantly colourful features of these works. This is a fascinating and excellently produced first instalment of an important cycle.” —Music and Vision, August 2015
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