Alexandre Kantorow, born in 1997, is the son of French conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow, who leads the Tapiola Sinfonietta here in not only the two common piano concertos of Franz Liszt, but a third one, for piano and strings and published only in 1915, called Malédiction. This was not Liszt's title, but was a description written into a section of the manuscript. It's thought of as a youthful work from Liszt's early 20s, but in fact all three of the concertos heard here had their genesis in the 1830s; Liszt kept working on those numbered 1 and 2, and abandoned Malédiction, which was written for piano and strings because he didn't feel confident in handling an orchestra at that point. It is more purely virtuosic than the other two, which integrate piano and orchestra better, and it has an attractive experimental quality. Malédiction is not recorded often, and it's worth having in this sprightly performance. The two major Liszt concertos are also enjoyable in a light, transparent way. These are not the first two words that come to mind with Liszt, but the 41-member Tapiola Sinfonietta specializes in the Mozart era, and the Kantorows do a good job working with the forces they have. The first concerto is given an unusually melodic quality here, and throughout there's a precise, athletic quality that bodes well for Kantorow's future career. With fine sound from the Tapiola Concert Hall in Finland, this is an intriguing Liszt release.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124|
|Concerto in E minor "Malédiction", S. 121 for piano and strings|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125|