• Friedrich Kalkbrenner (1785-1849) was born in Kassel, Germany. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, then went to London for several years but eventually settled in Paris, where he became a fashionable and celebrated pianist and composer. When Chopin moved to Paris in the 30ties he was mightily impressed by Kalkbrenner. He said “Herz, Liszt and Hiller are all zeros next to Kalkbrenner”. However Kalkbrenner’s arrogant and self-indulgent manners and his not-so-fashionable compositions finally led him into oblivion.
• Kalkbrenner had one of the most polished and “perfect” techniques ever witnessed. His Etudes Op. 143 show an extraordinarily mature and creative side to his ability as a composer, despite having been largely neglected. Conceived at the same time as Chopin’s 12 Etudes op 10 and a number of important similarities can be discovered through the study of both sets. These 25 character pieces are as musically concise as they are technically useful and the variety of characters and colours provide us with one of the most interesting and contrasting sets of studies written.
• Young British pianist Tyler Hay presents a masterful performance of these studies, relishing in all the virtuoso challenges and with a keen ear for the simple beauty of them. Tyler Hay made his name with a stunning recording of original piano works by John Ogdon on Piano Classics, as well with an impressive Liszt recording.
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