Eugen d’Albert – Piano Concerto No 1, Op. 2, in B minor
(b. Glasgow, 10 April 1864 – d. Riga, 3 March 1932)
The Scottish – born German pianist and composer Eugen (originally Eugène) Francis Charles d’Albert composed two concertos for piano and orchestra, both of them in one movement: the Piano Concerto No. 1 in B minor, Op. 2, in 1884 (Erstes Konzert H – moll für Klavier und Orchester Op. 2), and the Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Major, Op. 12 (Zweites Konzert E – dur für Klavier und Orchester Op. 12), in 1893. The second lasts just under half as long as the ‘First’ Concerto. Both of them were published in Berlin by Bote & Bock, and along with the full-score for piano and orchestra d’Albert made himself the arrangement for two pianos.
While pursuing his career as a pianist, d’Albert focused increasingly on composing, producing twenty – one operas and a considerable number of piano, vocal, chamber, and orchestral works. His most successful opera was Tiefland, which premiered in Prague in 1903. His successful orchestral works included his cello concerto (1899), a symphony, and two piano concertos.
D’Albert also prepared critical editions of scores by Beethoven and Bach, transcribed Bach’s organ works for the piano, and wrote cadenzas for Beethoven’s piano concertos. In 1907, he succeeded Joseph Joachim as director of the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, in which capacity he had a wide influence on musical education in Germany. D’Albert also held the post of Kapellmeister to the Court of Weimar.
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