This is from a post I did in 2019 on an old blog site I had.
As many of you know, I am no professional in classical music and I am certainly no expert in classical music. I am just a fan of classical music and I have become so late in my life. In fact, I knew nothing of the composers or the compositions of classical music when I first saw the movie Amadeus in 1985 [I was 37 years old at the time]. But after I saw that movie, I knew it had changed my life forever and that I had to learn all about classical music and listen to all the classical music that I could get my hands on from that day forward. Then I doubled down on my knowledge when my daughter began piano lessons at the age of 6 and for every week, until she was 14 years old, I was told by her great Russian-American piano teacher that I had to take notes every lesson. I also went to her theory and classical music history classes to take notes when she was young. So, I know a little [and trust me very little] about classical music, but there is so much more I am learning about it every day.
That is why I recently came across a composer I have never heard of. I was looking up the Houston Symphony Orchestra concerts upcoming that my wife and I will be attending and I noticed on the concert we are going to on March 30, 2019, the feature piece will be the legendary “Carmina Burana”, with its haunting thumping beat, by Carl Orff. The opening piece of that concert program will be a cello concerto by a composer who I have never heard of, Eugen D’Albert. The Houston Symphony Orchestra’s beloved principal virtuoso cello, Briton Averil Smith, will be the soloist in D’Albert’s concerto.
Eugen D’Albert was a Scottish-born pianist and composer.
From Wikipedia: “Educated in Britain, d’Albert showed early musical talent and, at the age of seventeen, he won a scholarship to study in Austria. Feeling a kinship with German culture and music, he soon emigrated to Germany, where he studied with Franz Liszt and began a career as a concert pianist. D’Albert repudiated his early training and upbringing in Scotland and considered himself German.“
“His successful orchestral works included his cello concerto (1899), a symphony, two string quartets and two piano concertos.“
“He edited critical editions of the scores of Beethoven and Bach, transcribed Bach’s organ works for the piano and wrote cadenzas for Beethoven’s piano concertos.“
The Houston Symphony Orchestra’s [author] Calvin Dotsey goes into depth about the structure and creativeness of this beautiful concerto, that you can read by please clicking here: Virtuoso Passion: d’Albert’s Cello Concerto.
From the HSO You Tube Web Site-A Sample of Principal Cello, Briton Averil Smith practicing this concerto:
D’Albert’s Cello Concerto is scored in C Major with 3 movements: 1. Allegro moderato; 2. Andante con moto; and 3. Allegro Vivace. Please turn up the volume and enjoy [with Peter Eom, cello. MusicaNova Orchestra, Warren Cohen, conductor] Eugen D’Albert’s Cello Concerto in C Major: