Ian Hobson launches new Moritz Moszkowski series

And so Toccata Classics launches yet another series I’ll be following closely. Moritz Moszkowski was a household name at the turn of the 20th Century. Both as a pianist and a composer of piano music he was in demand. By 1910, ill-health had ended his concert career and he — and his music — was mostly forgotten.

Toccata Classics has already released two volumes of Moszkowski’s orchestral music with Ian Hobson as conductor. Now, as a pianist, Hobson explores Moszkowski’s solo music. It should be quite a journey.

This volume concentrates on Moszkowski’s early works. Stylistically, Moszkowski was heavily influenced by Mendelssohn and Schumann. His Opus 5 Fantasie is even subtitled Hommage a Schumann. These composers may have inspired Moszkowski’s melodies and harmonies. The piano technique, though, is all Moszkowski.

These are no mere salon pieces. A lot of technical skill is required. And that requirement raises the quality of these works, I think.

Ian Hobson is a champion of Moszkowski’s music. His performances bring out the lyrical beauty of these works. Granted, some of the selections seem a little short-winded. On the whole, though, the music seemed fully realized, especially as played by Hobson.

Listen to the Scherzo Op. 1 1874) and the Humoreske, Op. 14 (1877) back-to-back. Though only three years apart, there’s a discernable growth in Moszkowki’s style. I am very much looking forward to Volume Two.

Moritz Moszkowski: Complete Music for Solo Piano, Volume One
Ian Hobson, piano
Toccata Classics TOCC 0572

 

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