So, I'm reading up on stuff that I've read before but long forgotten for my piano pedagogy class, and I come across the story of Sigismund Thalberg. anyway...it seems this guy's claim to immortality, if not his career, was shut down by Liszt and Chopin. Like, Chopin didn't take much of an active role in the duel itself, but he did assist Liszt in a performance during the battle between the two virtuosos, and there's a bit in one of his letters to Jan Matuszynski, from 26 December 1830:
Thalberg plays famously, but he is not my man. He is younger than I, pleases the ladies very much, makes potpourris on La Muette, plays the forte and the piano with the pedal, but not with the hand, takes tenths as easily as I do octaves, and wears studs with diamonds. Moscheles does not at all astonish him; therefore it is no wonder that only the tuttis of my concerto have pleased him. He, too, writes concertos
lol...and this was from the early beginnings of Chopin's fame. So who is this Thalberg guy again? He was quite the rage in his time, but he hasn't a single recording on Piano Society. I found a few on YouTube (no concertos!), though. Here's one:
Moses in Egypt
Well, it's not that great, in my opinion. Something that's both not that great and
virtuosic is bound to get ignored, right?
But I can think of some examples of virtuosic music that isn't that great that remains to be popular today, so that can't be it...
What do you guys think of Thalberg?