Howard Shelley/Ulster Orchestra - Steibelt: Piano Concertos: brilliance trumps lyricism

Steibelt: Piano Concertos Nos 3, 5, 7Ulster Orchestra/Howard Shelley (piano)Hyperion CDA 681043

Steibelt: Piano Concertos Nos 3, 5, 7
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Artist: Ulster Orchestra/Howard Shelley (piano)
Genre: Classical
Label: Hyperion CDA 68104

The unfortunate Daniel Steibelt (1765-1823) is remembered for being humiliated by Beethoven when the two men sparred in improvisation.

Steibelt was a fashionable virtuoso who scored particular successes in Paris, London and St Petersburg.

He focused his skill on effects. The concertos recorded (from 1796, 1802 and 1816) have subtitles indicating pictorial concerns – Storm (decades before his friend John Field’s storm concerto), Hunt and Military.

The storm movement was all the rage for many years. Decoration and development are the order of the day, and brilliance trumps lyricism.

Howard Shelley offers lucid performances to flesh out the achievement of a man who is now as neglected as he once was lionized.