Hugo Reinhold (1854-1935): Piano Works / Jouni Somero, piano Jul23

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FC Records Record Label - FC Records: "Our source of inspiration is found from the nature that surrounds Säyneinen; clear and clean lakes which reflect blue skies, hills and green of the forests."
Release date: 2013-06-11

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Hugo Reinhold (1854-1935): Piano Works / Jouni Somero, piano

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There is precious little information about Austrian composer Hugo Reinhold (1854-1935), and as far as I can see, this FC Records release of all world premiere recordings played by pianist Jouni Somero is the first commercially available disc of his music. This is rather a musical injustice. While Reinhold is not a major composer discovered, I think you'll agree after hearing some of his music, it's surprising we are only now getting to hear some of it. The disc includes a selection of Reinhold's Impromptus, Arabesques, Intermezzi and Etudes. I've included the Impromptu in E flat minor, op. 28/1 which opens the program as a sample. If you're not already listening to it, why not click the play button.

Composer and pianist Hugo Reinhold was born and died in Vienna, studied composition with Anton Bruckner, and taught piano at the Vienna Conservatory for more than twenty-five years. With the opus numbers of his compositions numbering over 60, Reinhold's compositional catalog of chiefly solo piano music is considerable. His music is characterized by long flowing themes, grand gestures, dense textures and a certain "restlessness". Reinhold is not a "unique" voice; this music is largely reminiscent of Chopin, Liszt and Brahms, much of it very impressive and beautiful.

The music is performed by powerhouse pianist Jouni Somero, who has done much in the service of unfamiliar composers, the most notable example being his series of nine volumes devoted to the piano music of Sergei Bortkiewicz, also on FC Records. There are a few errant notes here and there, but in the big picture, this is hardly even a quibble. To my ear, Somero fully captures the spirit of Reinhold's music.

If you are only interested in hearing what can be described as an original voice, you'd really have to look elsewhere. If you enjoyed the audio sample however, there's plenty more to hear, much of it graceful and light - not all the fireworks of the Impromptu. I hope that this will turn out to be the first in a series of Hugo Reinhold's music that Mr. Somero and FC Records gives us.

Hugo Reinhold: Impromptu op.28/3 Jouni Somero, piano