Pianist. Sauer Vol.6

No. 19

Complete Piano Music, Volume 6
Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor. Galop de concert.
Cinq Morceaux de Difficulte moyenne.
Petite Scene de ballet. Menuet Vieux style.
Polka de Concert
Oleg Marshev, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra / James Loughran
Danacord DACOCD 596

This is the sixth CD and the best yet in Oleg Marshev’s ear-opening exploration of the music of the Hamburg-born virtuoso Emil von Sauer (1862 – 1942). Sauer’s Second Piano Concerto, here receiving its first recording, turns out to be a major work, a close cousin to the Rachmaninov and Medtner concertos. You know from the start it is going to be something important: a haunting oboe melody creates a gorgeous autumnal atmosphere, into which the piano gently creeps, offering reserved commentary on the twirling woodwind lines until, two minutes in, it throws caution aside in a series of powerful chords, jolting the orchestra into a development section that shows Sauer to be a fine judge of when to accumulate and release tension. He was also a melodist of a high order, and he can charm, too – the Vivacissimo second movement has a lightness and grace.

It’s not news that Marshev is a first – rank pianist: his accounts of the Rachmaninov and Shostakovich concertos are among the best in the catalogue, but this disc is a real winner – don’t deny yourself this wonderful CD!