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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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Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68151

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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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Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68138

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The Classical Piano Concerto 4: Kozeluch

The Classical Piano Concerto 4: Kozeluch


Kozeluch:

Piano Concerto No. 1

Piano Concerto No. 5

Piano Concerto No. 6 in C major


Leopold Kozeluch—another composer-pianist trying to make his way in 1780s Vienna—has not been treated kindly by posterity, suffering that posthumous obscurity shared by so many of Mozart’s contemporaries. But his brand of Rococo galanterie, much in evidence in these three piano concertos, is guaranteed to delight, especially in such affectionately attentive performances as these.

“It’s impossible to imagine more compelling performance of this music- Howard Shelley is truly a rescuer of lost musical souls.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“Kozeluch’s mellifluous, sophisticated music is well served by this welcome recording.” MusicWeb International, 15th February 2017

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Hyperion The Classical Piano Concerto - CDA68154

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The Classical Piano Concerto 3: F X Mozart & Clementi

The Classical Piano Concerto 3: F X Mozart & Clementi


Clementi:

Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 33, No. 3

Mozart, F X:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 14

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 25


Howard Shelley (piano & conductor)

Sinfonieorchester St Gallen

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

Franz Xaver Mozart was born just four months before the death of his father, Wolfgang Amadeus. A pianist of similarly precocious talent, he nevertheless wrote just two piano concertos: coupled with Clementi’s only surviving essay in the genre, they make a sparkling addition to our Classical Piano Concerto series.

“All three works receive splendid advocacy from Howard Shelley (a stalwart of Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series, and also a tireless champion of Clementi’s solo piano music) and the incisive St Gallen Symphony Orchestra, who offer especially piquant wind playing and some delightfully teasing rubato as the theme reappears time and again in the Rondo finale of the E flat concerto.” Presto Classical, 5th August 2016

“Shelley tucks into the solo part [of the First Concerto] with almost nonchalant ease, alive to every colour change as Franz Xaver darts momentarily into minor keys…the delightfully capricious rondo finale is given with tremendous élan…[he finds] a superb translucency [in the Second Concerto] even at the lowest register. He brings a real poignancy to the halting, minor-key slow movement, while the finale is brought to life with an unobtrusive felicity” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

“His first piano concerto, from 1809, is a homage to Mozart senior’s Viennese concertos; bursting with sparkling pianism and delightful, lyrical themes, it could almost be an exercise in clever pastiche. The second, however, is more distinctly his own; noble and broad in conception with some bravura writing for the soloist, engagingly played here by the admirable Howard Shelley.” The Guardian, 4th September 2016 ****

“[these concertos are] handled with dexterity by Howard Shelley and the Swiss St Gallen orchestra alike” Classical Ear, 15th November 2016

“Howard Shelley and the orchestra take the listener on an emotional journey” Financial Times, 29th July 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

5th August 2016

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Hyperion The Classical Piano Concerto - CDA68126

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The Classical Piano Concerto 2: Steibelt

The Classical Piano Concerto 2: Steibelt


Steibelt:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major 'L'orage', Op. 33

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major 'À la chasse' Op. 64

Piano Concerto No. 7 in E minor 'Grand concerto militaire'


Howard Shelley (piano & conductor)

Ulster Orchestra

Howard Shelley and the Ulster Orchestra return for a second volume in Hyperion’s new Classical Piano Concerto series. Daniel Steibelt—the man who dared to challenge Beethoven and lost—ruled the keyboards of northern Europe for a quarter of a century, his own concertos as sensationally popular as their composer was ostentatious.

“the disc as a whole is worth hearing for Shelley, but otherwise I'd suggest that Steibelt is a niche interest” Gramophone Magazine, January 2016

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Hyperion The Classical Piano Concerto - CDA68104

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Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 4

Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 4


Mendelssohn:

Preludes & Fugues (6) for piano, Op. 35 (complete)

Andante Cantabile and Presto Agitato

Songs without Words, Book 5 (6), Op. 62

Lied in A major (Allegretto)


The Op 35 set of Preludes and Fugues is the most substantial single opus Mendelssohn wrote for solo piano, a mark of his reverence for the mighty Bach. Coupled with the popular fifth book of Songs without Words, we have here a heavyweight fourth volume in Howard Shelley’s compendium.

“Shelley's technique is superb, and anything marked Presto or thereabouts is delivered with tremendous elan” BBC Music Magazine, April 2016 ***

“a fascinating recital, warmly recorded and with absorbing notes from Mendelssohn scholar R Larry Todd.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2016

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Hyperion Howard Shelley Mendelssohn Complete Piano Music - CDA68125

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Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3

Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3


Mendelssohn:

Lied in F sharp minor

Songs without Words, Book 4 (6), Op. 53

Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 105

Caprices Nos 1-3, Op. 33 (Complete)

Scherzo a capriccio in F sharp minor

Scherzo in B minor

Etude in F minor


Under-valued for a century and a half, the perfected joys of Mendelssohn’s music for solo piano are further unearthed in this third volume of our complete series from Howard Shelley where fascinating early works sit happily alongside Book 4 of the ‘Songs without words’ and the wonderful Caprices of opus 33.

“Mendelssohn and Howard Shelley are a musical marriage made in heaven. Stylish and delectably light-fingered, Shelley makes a flawless case in Vol 3 of his [Complete Solo Piano Music of Mendelssohn]…if anyone can persuade us of Mendelssohn's quality, it is Shelley.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

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Hyperion Howard Shelley Mendelssohn Complete Piano Music - CDA68098

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The Classical Piano Concerto 1: Dussek

The Classical Piano Concerto 1: Dussek


Dussek, J L:

Piano Concerto in G major, Op. 1, No. 3

Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 29

Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 70


Howard Shelley (piano & conductor)

Ulster Orchestra

Following on from Hyperion’s hugely popular ‘Romantic Piano Concerto’ series, the ‘Classical Piano Concerto’ focuses on the lesser-known concertos from the dawn of the genre. Between about 1770 and 1820—the high classical period dominated by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven—musicians including Clementi, Cramer, Dussek, Steibelt, Woelfl and others made their names as composers and performers of piano concertos. This series aims to be the first in-depth recorded survey of this forgotten repertoire.

This first volume features three of Bohemian virtuoso Jan Ladislav Dussek’s eighteen piano concertos, taken from different points in his career. As a group, these pieces are a fascinating study, with most of the earlier works largely reflecting the Mozartian model, and the later ones revealing stylistic traits sometimes at odds with the late eighteenth-century conception of the form, and anticipating future developments in the genre.

There could be no finer guide to the hidden gems of this repertoire than Howard Shelley, whose recordings of Clementi keyboard works, and Mozart and Hummel piano concertos, have received such acclaim. He appears here as pianist / conductor with the Ulster Orchestra.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Shelley has been a stalwart of the Romantic series of concertos, and so it seems fitting that he has been chosen to do the honours here. He brings his customary elegance to every bar, and it's a delight to listen to him, with immaculate passagework and tender playing in the slow movements. I look forward to hearing further volumes in this series!” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 21st July 2014

“bright, buoyant and restlessly busy” Financial Times, 20th August 2014

“Whatever one's reaction to and perception of Dussek's music, Shelley's role in this enterprise should not be lightly acknowledged...This is skill and dedication of a high order and I can't think of another living pianist who can equal him in this particular field of musical endeavour.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014

“This disc presents three refreshing and delightful pieces to launch a new classical piano concerto series from Hyperion...One must applaud both Hyperion’s enterprise and Shelley’s dedication to bring this music to our attention.” International Piano ****

Presto Disc of the Week

21st July 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

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Hyperion The Classical Piano Concerto - CDA68027

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 63 - Godard

The Romantic Piano Concerto 63 - Godard


Godard, B:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 31

Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 148

Introduction et Allegro pour piano et orchestre, Op. 49


Howard Shelley directs the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from the piano in this latest volume of The Romantic Piano Concerto series. As ever, they perform unknown music with consummate style and deep understanding, making the best possible case for the works. We have reached Volume 63 and the works of French composer Benjamin Godard, a figure who is almost totally forgotten today. He is described by Jeremy Nicholas in his booklet note as ‘a composer who combines the sentimental melodic appeal of Massenet with the fecundity and technical facility of Saint-Saëns’.

Among Godard’s oeuvre, well over seventy opus numbers are devoted to works for solo piano, ranging from Les contes de Perrault, Op 6, to Valse No 15, Op 153. His Hommage à Chopin can be found on Hyperion CDA67803, performed by Jonathan Plowright. Much of the enormous amount of music he produced followed in the tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann (his admiration for the latter inspired a string quartet arrangement of Kinderszenen in 1876). With the emergence of more innovative composers, Godard’s conservative idiom meant his reputation faded before his early death in Cannes on 10 January 1895. However, in the three works presented here his writing for the piano exceeds the technical range of his two idols, and is often reminiscent of the bravura demands found in the concertos of Liszt and Rubinstein.

“As far as the pianism goes, Godard was evidently fully aware of the new vistas of technique and colour opened up by Liszt...The performances by the indefatigable Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian orchestra cannot be faulted.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

“Godard distrusted Wagnerism, and his two piano concertos constrain Romantic sensibilities within the classical form...The disc is a tour de force for Howard Shelley, who, in addition to coping with Godard's often vertiginous piano writing, directs all three performances from the keyboard, which is no mean feat.” The Guardian, 10th July 2014 ****

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Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68043

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Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2

Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2


Mendelssohn:

Rondo capriccioso in E major, Op. 14

Fantasia on "The Last Rose of Summer", Op. 15

3 Fantasies (or Caprices) Op. 16

Fantasia in F sharp minor, Op. 28

Songs without Words, Book 2 (6), Op. 30

Individual ‘Lieder ohne Worte’: E flat major, Espressivo & Allegro, MWV U 68

Individual ‘Lieder ohne Worte’: A major [Allegretto], MWV U 138

Songs without Words, Book 3 (6), Op. 38


Howard Shelley is acclaimed as the living master of early Romantic piano music. So much of this music was ignored throughout the twentieth century that there is still a sense of discovery at each new recording. Shelley here presents the second instalment of a six-volume set of Mendelssohn’s complete solo piano music—perhaps the least well-known part of the composer’s repertoire. The first volume was praised for Shelley’s ‘immaculate, lightly-pedalled brilliance, unfailing stylistic assurance, warmth and flexibility’ (Gramophone).

This second volume includes the Rondo capriccioso, a favourite virtuoso concert piece of the nineteenth century; the three-movement Fantasia in F sharp minor, which was originally described as a ‘Sonate écossaise’, with its characteristic Scottish folk-song elements in the first movement, and two books of the Songs without Words.

“Time and again Shelley makes it clear that Mendelssohn has a special place in his affections, and although it is invidious to locate the finer moments in his unfailing expertise, certain performances stand out for their exceptional grace and commitment.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

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Hyperion Howard Shelley Mendelssohn Complete Piano Music - CDA68059

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