TODD CROW

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THE BBC RECORDINGS

THE BBC RECORDINGS


Felix Mendelssohn, Ignaz Moscheles, Robert Schumann

TODD CROW, piano

[MS1338]

$12.95

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REVIEWS
"Todd Crow reminds me of Ivan Moravec. Both are what I would call pianists’ pianists. They’re not household names like Horowitz, Rubinstein, or Cliburn, but to those in the know they are among the aristocrats of keyboard artists... Crow captures to perfection the combination of pathos and pretentious posturing [in Moscheles’ “In Memoriam”] that must have characterized Malibran’s stage presence... [In Songs without Words] Crow’s performance may definitely be counted a top contender... On a disc drawn from programs recorded for airings on BBC radio broadcasts, Crow’s bountiful talents are fully on display.”
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare - March/April 2011
"Todd Crow...has been praised often in these pages for the restrained subtlety of his playing... This recital...offers an unhackneyed program that plays to his strengths... this is mellifluous and low-key music that gets the elegant phrasing, the dynamic flexibility, and the feathery touch that’s needed to bring out its charm. The deft reading of the Mendelssohn-Liszt Neue Liebe is especially fine... [Moscheles’ Hommage caractéristique] gets a tactful performance that points up the music’s intimate beauties without falling into fussiness... [The Schumann is] a piece worth knowing, and Crow—fluid and tender, despite his uptempo approach—makes a much stronger case for the music than do pianists like Kuerti, Nikolaeva and especially Vorraber... The Mendelssohn sonata and the Liszt transcriptions of Mendelssohn songs are...rare visitors on the concert stage, and Crow’s artfully inflected performances make us regret their absence. Good sound and solid notes round out an admirable release.”

Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare - March/April 2011
"This is a wonderful selection of music representing the outpouring of mid 19th-century piano music of the Romantic period. None of it is heard very often, so Todd Crow deserves thanks for championing it... Moscheles was a well-trained musician and a gifted composer. The emotionalism characteristic of the Romanticists can be seen in Moscheles’ expressive directions: con disperazione, con tormento, con dolore, and the like. Crow’s performance expresses a direct response to these evocative markings... The Liszt transcriptions of selected Mendelssohn songs...show exquisite taste and fidelity to the character of the songs [and] Crow performs them in true Lisztian style, both tender and exhilarating... Todd Crow is an American treasure. He combines a solid technique and beautiful keyboard touch with complete mastery of the music. Recorded in 1992 and in 1995 by the BBC for broadcast on two different programs, the sound is excellent. Strongly recommended.”

Susan Kagan, Fanfare - March/April 2011
"Todd Crow [plays] brilliantly... The notes are very good, and the BBC tapes from 18 years ago still sound good.”
Bauman, American Record Guide - January / February 2011
"In this recital of striking originality and notable achievement, Todd Crow has also included Schumann's last completed work... It can safely be said that most of the pieces on the CD will be unfamiliar, and not only to me. For that Todd Crow deserves unstinted gratitude.”

Robert Anderson, Music and Vision - October 2010
"Todd Crow's impressive piano recital provides an unusually varied program, well brought off.”

Turok's Choice, Issue No.225 - October 2010
"[benefits from the] excellent acoustics of the Concert Hall of Broadcasting House in London and of St George's, Bristol... a real sense of live performance... enjoyable accounts”

[ * * * * ] BBC Music - October 2010
"These are all vibrant, sometimes scintillating performances. And it seems that Crow was in very good form for the session...  This is exciting pianism... fine program notes... The radio program featuring these works was called 'Song without Words.' As the title implies, these are mostly pieces where a singing line seems more important than formal rigor. Todd Crow makes them sing very convincingly. His playing is characterized by powerful technique, a colorful tonal palette, and a fine sense of phrasing. While most of these works are available elsewhere, Crow’s program seems an ideal way to hear them. Listening to Crow, I don’t pine for Murray Perahia’s excellent Mendelssohn disc on Sony, and that’s praise indeed, I think... The BBC studio sound is very good, with a fine bloom and not a hint of studio boxiness—very truthful. In all, a disc with smart programming and admirable execution.”

Lee Passarella, Audiophile Audition - August 2010
PROGRAM NOTES
The works on this CD were originally recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Recorded under studio conditions, a philosophy of minimal editing assures that the spirit of live performance is retained.

TODD CROW
has been widely acclaimed for performances in North and South America and in Europe. He made his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the American Symphony in 1992 and his London orchestral debut at the Barbican Centre with the London Philharmonic in 1986. In recent years Mr. Crow has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the United States, England, Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic and elsewhere, and in recital and chamber music at the Berlioz-Dutilleux Festival in Manchester, Washington’s National Gallery of Art, London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall. He has been heard frequently on BBC Radio in both live and recorded performances and on numerous American stations.

Since 1996, Mr. Crow has been Music Director and pianist of the Mount Desert Festival of Chamber Music in Northeast Harbor, Maine. In addition to many appearances at the Bard Music Festival, he has been heard at the Casals Festival, Music Mountain, Maverick Concerts and other festivals. He can be heard on the MSR, Bridge, Toccata Classics, ASV, New World, Albany Records, and Golden String labels, and among his CDs are works by Dohnányi, Haydn, Schubert and Taneyev; the complete works for cello and piano by Mendelssohn with cellist Mark Shuman, and Toch’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the NDR-Hamburg Symphony under Leon Botstein.

Born in Santa Barbara, California, Todd Crow is an honors graduate of the University of California and the Juilliard School, and has studied with Ernö Dániel, Ania Dorfmann and Emanuel Bay, among others. He is a recipient of UCal’s Distinguished Alumni Award and is currently Professor of Music on the George Sherman Dickinson Chair at Vassar College.

PROGRAM

Ignaz MOSCHELES (1794-1870)
HOMMAGE CARACTÉRISTIQUE À LA MÉMOIRE DE MADAME MALIBRAN DE BÉRIOT, EN FORME DE FANTAISIE, OP.94B

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
SONATA IN E MAJOR, OP.6 (1826)
9 SONGS - Transcribed for piano by Franz LISZT, S.547 [1840] and S.548 [1848]
AUF FLÜGELN DES GESANGES (Op.34, No.2)
SONNTAGSLIED (Op.34, No.5)
REISELIED (Op.34, No.6)
NEUE LIEBE (Op.19a, No.4)
FRÜHLINGSLIED (Op.47, No.3)
WINTERLIED (Op.19a, No.3)
SULEIKA (Op.34, No.4)
WASSERFAHRT (Op.50, No.4)
DER JÄGER ABSCHIED (Op.50, No.2)

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
VARIATIONS ON AN ORIGINAL THEME in E-FLAT MAJOR, WoO 24 (1854)





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