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The Romantic Piano Concerto

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 73 - Sacheverell Coke

The Romantic Piano Concerto 73 - Sacheverell Coke


Sacheverell Coke:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major. Op. 30

Piano Concerto No. 4 in C sharp minor, Op. 38

Piano Concerto No. 5 in D minor, Op. 57


The late Romanticism of Roger Sacheverell Coke will appeal to anyone who enjoys Rachmaninov or Delius, Grainger or Scriabin. If that sounds an intriguingly eclectic mix, Coke establishes his own distinctive voice, and this is an important addition to the Romantic Piano Concerto series.

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Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68173

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 72 - Cipriani Potter

The Romantic Piano Concerto 72 - Cipriani Potter


Potter, C:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor

Piano Concerto No. 4 in E major

Variazioni di bravura on a theme by Rossini


Volume 72 of our Romantic Piano Concerto series comes to the rescue of yet another neglected figure with three first recordings courtesy of Howard Shelley and his Tasmanian forces. Composer, pianist, writer and educator (he was an early Principal of the Royal Academy of Music), London-born Cipriani Potter was encouraged by Beethoven and admired by Wagner.

“Shelley does [Potter] proud in this effervescent recording of two Potter concertos, one a semi-homage to Mozart, the other a much broader and more expansive corker...Another gem from Hyperion’s Romantic piano concerto series.” The Observer, 9th July 2017 ****

“[Potter's concertos] are conservative in style, but distinctively coloured through their prominent use of wind instruments, as well as occasional passages for solo violin and cello...The warmth and fluency of Howard Shelley's playing present the music in the strongest possible light...More distinctive than the concertos are the 'bravura' variations...which couple glittering virtuosity with wit and inventiveness.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2017 *****

“What impressed most immediately – and more than any other element – was Howard Shelley’s playing. Not for the first time, I was lost in admiration by his dazzling dispatch of the fantastically demanding writing in the outer movements of both concertos, the aural equivalent of someone mistakenly igniting a box of fireworks. Add to that his simultaneous and complete control of his fine Tasmanian players, I cannot think of another musician who is Shelley’s equal in this dual role” Gramophone Magazine, August 2017

“Performances and recordings are everything one could wish, and it all adds up to another winner within Hyperion’s ever-enterprising Romantic Piano Concerto series.” Classical Ear, September 2017

“I only hope that Hyperion will be forthcoming in several more editions of Cipriani Potter’s music. It is a treat that is to be relished.” MusicWeb International, September 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - August 2017

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 71 - Czerny

The Romantic Piano Concerto 71 - Czerny


Czerny:

Piano Concerto in F major, Op. 28

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 214

Rondo brillant in B flat major, Op. 233


Active in every genre other than opera, Czerny is now remembered largely for the numerous piano studies he wrote as pedagogical aids. Which makes Howard Shelley’s advocacy of the three virtuoso works for piano and orchestra recorded here, two of them for the first time, all the more welcome: this is music which cannot fail to appeal.

“Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra are, by now, firm friends, and it’s thanks to his intimacy with every note of the orchestral score, as well as that of the piano part, that makes these readings so rewarding” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“in the later Piano Concerto in A Minor Czerny’s limpid writing emulates Chopin in its attractive, early romanticism — an unexpected delight…” Financial Times, 5th May 2017 ***

“They certainly require a formidable keyboard technician such as Shelley” The Observer, 14th May 2017 ***

“His brilliant technique and musicianship, bearing in mind that he is usually conducting from the keyboard, finally allows the listener the fullest appreciation of what it was that made such composer-pianists famous in their own time and allows the music to speak for itself.” MusicWeb International, May 2017

“Shelley excels in all departments. He plays with informed authority and class, taking time to shape and place events, his fingerwork and trills glistening at every turn. Responding to the spirit of the page, he conducts with vitality and a rhythmically coiled tension, coaxing the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to give beyond their best (they are an outstanding ensemble).” classicalsource.com, June 2017 *****

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

Beach, Chaminade & Howell: Piano Concertos


Beach, A:

Piano Concerto, Op. 45

Chaminade:

Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40

Howell, D:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor


International Women’s Day falls on 8 March, celebrating the ‘social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’. Volume 70 in our Romantic Piano Concerto series champions three female composers, and three works whose in-the-face-of-it-all joie de vivre makes them irresistibly worthy of our attention.

“Pick of the bunch is the Concerto by Amy Beach…Danny Driver is a highly accomplished soloist, if occasionally lacking in Romantic flexibility; the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Rebecca Miller makes a telling contribution” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 ****

“If Driver offers a robust, muscular view of the Beach, he is certainly in touch with his feminine side in the highly attractive single-movement Concerto by Dorothy Howell...but even more appealing is Cécile Chaminade’s Concertstück in the same key as the Beach...In Driver’s hands it is enchanting.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“[Beach's] Piano Concerto has the heft and torrent of music that needs to be written and Danny Driver plays it with clarity and steel, absolutely unsentimental but flecked through with empathy...the sturdy weft Rebecca Miller gets from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra generally suits Beach’s broad-stitch writing.” The Guardian, 2nd March 2017 ***

“Its exotic features anticipate Saint-Saëns’s ‘Egyptian’ Concerto, and overall it is colourful, capricious and charming.” classicalsource.com, May 2017 ****

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 69 - Hill & Boyle

The Romantic Piano Concerto 69 - Hill & Boyle


Boyle, G F:

Piano Concerto in D minor

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Johannes Fritzsch

Hill, Alfred:

Piano Concerto in A major

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Johannes Fritzsch

Piano Sonata in A major


Piers Lane (piano)

Alfred Hill and George Boyle enjoyed distinguished careers in their native Australia and abroadBoyle's students in New York included Copland and Barberthough both are all-too-little known today. The piano concerto and sonata by Hillthe 'grand old man' of Australian musical life at the timeare effectively the same work, the one an orchestral expansion of the other.

“an intriguing disc of Australian examples, Piers Lane making a convincing case for his countrymen’s music. Alfred Hill’s 1941 concerto has a breezy, sunny disposition, with hardly a dark cloud in the sky…[Boyle's is] altogether graver than Hill’s [and] has a final movement to rival anything coming out of Europe at the time.” The Observer, 23rd October 2016 ****

“One cannot imagine a more persuasive, artful advocate of the music of his two compatriots than Piers Lane who, frankly, is worth hearing in whatever he plays” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“A very welcome addition to this series; the Boyle is the stand-out.” MusicWeb International, 2nd December 2016

“The centrepiece is Boyle’s Concerto in D minor. Composed in 1911, making it arguably the first significant such work by an Australian, it is unabashedly romantic, with orchestral writing of considerable character that feels both ripe and robust, and a particularly thoughtful piano line…Piers Lane and the Adelaide Symphony play with conviction and make a persuasive case for the Boyle if not for the Hill.” Classical Ear, December 2016 ***

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 68 - Moszkowski

The Romantic Piano Concerto 68 - Moszkowski


Moszkowski:

Piano Concerto in B minor, Op. 3

Schulz-Evler:

Russian Rhapsody, Op. 14


Ludmil Angelov (piano)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Kiradjiev

The first recording of Moritz Moszkowski’s long-lost—and eagerly awaited—early Piano Concerto makes for a particularly important addition to the Romantic Piano Concerto series. The coupling is another rarity (and recorded premiere): the Russian Rhapsody by Adolf Schulz-Evler.

“[the Moszkowski] is given an unstintingly engaged and engaging performance by pianist, conductor, and the BBC Scottish SO…Angelov’s experience of Chopin serves him well, helping him make the most of writing that abounds in a sense of rhapsody and silvery filigree. Add to that an exuberant virtuosity and a penchant for spinning a good tune, and you have a worthwhile addition to the series” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“Ludmil Angelov achieves minor miracles by throwing everything he can technically and interpretatively at these works, as does Vladimir Kiradjiev, who secures admirably direct playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra” Classical Ear, September 2016 *****

“Ludimol Angelov plays with enviable fluency and affection” International Piano, September 2016 ****

“Angelov dispatches the hugely taxing piano part with consummate virtuosity, and the orchestra respond with alert and strongly characterised playing under Vladimir Kirjadev…a very welcome addition to Hyperion’s invaluable Romantic Piano Concerto series” BBC Music Magazine, November 2016 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - November 2016

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 67 - Ludomir Różycki

The Romantic Piano Concerto 67 - Ludomir Różycki


Rózycki:

Ballade in G major, Op. 18

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 43

Piano Concerto No. 2


Ludomir Różycki remains frustratingly obscure outside of his native Poland, something this new album of his three works for piano and orchestra will help to rectify as his late-nineteenth-century musical language—and an accomplished ear for instrumental colour—responds to the horrors of two world wars with an irrepressible spirit.

“Jonathan Plowright and conductor Łukasz Borowicz are champions of neglected Polish music, and this disc's place in Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series makes it self-recommending” BBC Music Magazine ****

“Jonathan Plowright and Łukasz Borowicz are like alchemists…Borowicz's control of his Scottish players is quite masterly, and Plowright should be paid in bags of gold to reveal how he produces such a rich, singing tone throughout the enormous dynamic range he conjures up…only a hair-shirt cynic could fail to enjoy Różycki” Gramophone Magazine, February 2016

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 66 - Henri Herz

The Romantic Piano Concerto 66 - Henri Herz


Herz:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 74

Grande fantaisie militaire sur La fille du régiment, Op. 163

Fantaisie et variations sur la marche d'Otello de Rossini, Op. 67

Grande polonaise brillante, Op. 30


Howard Shelley (piano & conductor)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Henri Herz—as much a phenomenon in 1830s Paris and for the ensuing decades in America as he has been derided since the curtain fell on his world of sparkle—wrote eight piano concertos. One is lost, so it is for the final time in this mini series that Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra here get to put on their finest dancing shoes and perform the Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor (the one with which Herz conquered America in 1846) and three extended fantasies.

“Herz's talent…lay not in profundity but in pleasing the crowds, and he did that exceptionally well…Shelley by turns charms and dazzles…unless your doctor has prescribed some strict froth-free diet (and how tedious would that be) I can heartily recommend a dose of Herz.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

“I found the style strangely reminiscent of Rossini at several times – as if the great operatic master had been a concert pianist instead and written concertante works for the instrument...While Herz's music doesn't shatter the earth or rewrite the musical textbooks, it's incredible to think that he could have fallen into such obscurity – it is full-blooded, melodious, Romantic stuff, expertly and sensitively performed and definitely worth getting to know.” Presto Classical, 27th January 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

27th July 2015

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 65 - Albéniz & Granados

The Romantic Piano Concerto 65 - Albéniz & Granados


Albéniz:

Piano Concerto No. 1 (Concerto fantastico), Op. 78

orchestrated with Tomás Bretón

Spanish Rhapsody, Op. 70

Granados:

Piano Concerto in C minor 'Patético'

adapted & reconstructed for piano and orchestra by Melani Mestre


Volume 65 (have you got them all?) of Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series journeys to Spain and the heart-on-sleeve world there to be found. The Albéniz Concierto fantástico owes much to Schumann and Chopin, albeit with an added drizzle of the Iberian peninsula; the perennially popular Rapsodia española, on the other hand, throws all such classical models to the wind.

Granados never actually got round to writing his piano concerto, so our pianist here—Hyperion debutant Melani Mestre—has done it for him. And it’s a romp. The first movement is pretty much ‘echt’, from Granados’ sketches for a putative piano concerto, but thereafter it’s a hugely enjoyable what-if …

“Mestre's playing is limpid and convincing, with Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra giving discreet support.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

“The chief interest lies in the Granados, solemn and declamatory in the first movement before leaving its C minor sense of elegy to recall two earlier 'Spanish Dances' and the composer's one unabashed showpiece, the 'Allegro de concierto'. Musical adventure could hardly go further. Impeccably recorded, all the performances by Melani Mestre and the BBC Scottish Orchestra [sic] under Martyn Brabbins are of an unfaltering fluency and stylistic command.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

“Mestre plays [the Granados] with flair and the conviction of an evangelist, and is beguiling in the central allegretto. If neither of these works is a “great” piano concerto, both fall attractively within the rubric of Hyperion’s successful Romantic Piano Concertos series, of which this is a remarkable 65th volume.” Sunday Times, 19th July 2015

“The ebullience of [the Rapsodia española] is infectious in the playing of Melani Mestre, who has also done the speculative reconstruction of Granados’s C minor Concerto...A sombre start, underlining Granados’s adjective patético, has the stamp of originality and its romantic sweep breathes Spanish air.” The Telegraph, 10th May 2015 *****

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 64 - Oswald & Napoleão dos Santos

The Romantic Piano Concerto 64 - Oswald & Napoleão dos Santos


Oswald, H:

Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 10

Santos, A:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat minor, Op. 31


Portuguese virtuoso Artur Pizarro makes a welcome return to the Romantic Piano Concerto series with the outpourings of two brilliant pianist-composers. Their names may not be familiar to listeners today. The Brazilian Henrique Oswald and the Portuguese Alfredo Napoleão were born in the same year, less than three months apart, when Schumann, Brahms and Liszt were alive and Chopin recently deceased. Both were of mixed European heritage: Oswald with a Swiss-German father and Italian mother, Napoleão with an Italian father and Portuguese mother. Both were child prodigies who became widely travelled concert pianists, pedagogues and composers. In 1868 Oswald gave his ‘farewell recital’ and left Rio de Janeiro to study in Europe; Napoleão went to Brazil.

Oswald’s Piano Concerto in G minor, Op 10, dates from about 1886, the year he met Liszt. Although influences of Fauré can be detected in the second theme, the overall character of the first movement owes more to the late Romantic German style. The orchestration is rich and full, but the Tchaikovskian athleticism and virtuosity of the piano-writing keep the soloist to the fore.

Napoleão’s Piano Concerto No 2 in E flat minor, Op 31, is undated but was probably composed around the same time as Oswald’s Piano Concerto. Although Napoleão performed the concerto in a solo piano version, the first performance with orchestra had to wait until 12 February 1941. This was given by Evaristo de Campos Coelho (1903–1988)—with whom Artur Pizarro, the pianist on the present recording, studied as a young child. He played the work numerous times, and performed it for Portuguese radio. Dinorah Leitão (who was Ivo Cruz’s daughter in law, and also a student of Campos Coelho) then played it, and Artur Pizarro is only the third pianist to champion this work.

“One cannot imagine them more convincingly executed. What verve and flair [Pizarro] brings to the stamina-sapping solos, and with what graceful lyricism he invests the cantabile writing. He is only the third pianist to champion the Napoleão concerto.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

“Napoleão’s concerto No 2 in E flat minor grips with a first movement worthy of Chopin, and delights with a sparkling central scherzo but the wandering, occasionally twee third movement is disappointing, despite the dedicated playing of Artur Pizarro.” The Observer, 26th October 2014 ***

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