Bliss: Piano Concerto

Naxos: 8557146

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Bliss: Piano Concerto


Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2004



Catalogue No:




Release date:

5th Jan 2004




72 minutes


CD (download also available)
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Bliss: Piano Concerto


Piano Concerto in B flat major

Piano Sonata

Concerto for Two Pianos



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Arthur Bliss: Piano Concerto

Allegro con brio


Andante maestoso - Molto vivo

Arthur Bliss: Piano Sonata

Moderato marcato

Adagio sereno


Arthur Bliss: Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra

Allegro giusto - Larghetto tranquillo - Vivo

BBC Music Magazine

“Concerto for Two pianos is the most lively, attractive work on the disc, full of quick, spiky wit and delight on colour, all well brought out by Donohoe and Roscoe”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“In recent times Bliss's swaggering Piano Concerto (written in 1938-9 for Solomon) has found a champion in Peter Donohoe, and it's good that he's been able to set down his powerful interpretation as part of Naxos's British Piano Concertos series. As those thunderous octaves at the outset demonstrate, Bliss's bravura writing holds no terrors for Donohoe and he generates a satisfying rapport with David Lloyd-Jones and the RSNO. Theirs is a beautifully prepared and attentive reading which grips from start to finish.
The bittersweet central Adagietto casts an especially potent spell, while both outer movements harness blistering virtuosity to supple affection. All told, a worthy modern counterpart to the thrilling historic displays from Solomon and Mewton-Wood.
No less compelling is the buoyant account of the Concerto for Two Pianos: an infectiously enjoyable, single-movement work that began life in 1921 as a Concerto for Piano, Tenor and Strings (that same year, Bliss embarked on his Colour Symphony, of which there are fleeting echoes here). The present revision dates from 1950; 18 years later, Bliss overhauled the piece one last time for the three-hand partnership of Phyllis Sellick and Cyril Smith. As in the Piano Concerto, the recording's a touch bright and clangorous, but the ear soon adjusts.
No such technical qualms surround Donohoe's intelligent and accomplished performance of the Sonata composed in 1952 for Noel Mewton- Wood. With his commanding presence and rich tonal palette, Donohoe again exhibits a remarkable empathy with Bliss's red-blooded inspiration. This rewarding Naxos disc deserves every success.”

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