Piano Journal (EPTA)

Ignaz Moscheles: Daily Studies on the Harmonic Scales for Practice in Various Rhythms, op.107

These masterful etudes for piano duet come in a superb new Urtext Edition by the firm of Van Sambeek who are alone in retrieving lost masterpieces of the late Classical and Romantic period which have been unjustly forgotten. As a sample of their excellence, we have before us these delightful piano duets of Moscheles which bid fair to restore the once international fame of Moscheles, intimate friend of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, who enjoyed a renowned career as a virtuoso pianist, composer and revered teacher. After making his name in Vienna and Paris, he became professor at London’s Royal Academy of Music only leaving there when Mendelssohn summoned him to become head of piano studies at the new Leipzig Conservatoire. These etudes are arranged in such a way as to combine an Elementary Level secundo with an Early Intermediate primo before going on in Book 2 to Late Intermediate and Early Advanced, making them equally useful for teacher and pupil, or for two students at different levels. Their consistently high quality musically is enough to recommend them as ideal for effective pupil’s repertoire and as attractive sight-reading pieces. This is the first Van Sambeek Edities publication to have caught our eye but on the strenght of what we have seen Van Sambeek merits a round of congratulations for opening our ears to a wealth of undiscovered piano repertoire, with each complete with fingering, source readings and editorial commentaries. Leading fortepianist Malcolm Bilson of Cornell University USA, for one, claims “it is a model of what an edition of earlier repertoire should be and that “it represents the best kind of editions that we can find today”.

Malcolm Troup