Born in the vicinity of Cologne, only two years after and some sixty km distant from Beethoven, Johann Wilhelm Wilms was once a musical force to be reckoned with. In Amsterdam, where he lived from the age of 19, his music was actually performed more frequently than Beethoven’s at one period, and his orchestral works were played in such musical centres as Leipzig. Besides chamber music and solo sonatas, Wilms composed several symphonies and concertos, among them piano concertos for his own use. &&&
But already during his lifetime Wilms began to retreat from the public eye and by the time of his death in 1847, he was remembered almost exclusively as the composer of the then national anthem. In time for the 250th anniversary of Wilms’ birth, Ronald Brautigam has edited the five extant piano concertos by ‘the Dutch Beethoven’. A first volume (BIS-2504) with the three earlier concertos has been released, earning a five star review in BBC Music Magazine for ‘performances of lightness and transparency, matched by the recording’s clarity.’ On this second and final instalment, with Concertos Nos 4 and 5, Ronald Brautigam again receives spirited support from the Kölner Akademie and Michael Alexander Willens.