Beach, Chaminade & Howell - Piano Concertos
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Label: Hyperion - Romantic Piano Concertos
Cat No: CDA68130
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 3rd March 2017
WorksPiano Concerto in C sharp minor, op.45
Concertstuck in C sharp minor, op.40
Piano Concerto in D minor
ArtistsDanny Driver (piano)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
The couplings are slighter works, but well worth investigating. Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944), ten years Beach’s senior, similarly had to battle against the prejudices of her day; her Concertstück of 1888 opens in a manner that immediately recalls Wagner’s Flying Dutchman overture, but gives way to music of considerable charm as well as Lisztian flourishes. Once again, Driver and Miller between them prove persuasive advocates, and this engaging 15-minute work certainly deserves more frequent outings. From a later generation, the name of Dorothy Howell (1898-1982) is barely known today, but almost a century ago her symphonic poem Lamia (1919) was championed by Sir Henry Wood and performed at no fewer than seven successive Proms seasons! Her 1923 Piano Concerto in D minor (1923), cast in a single movement but three recognisable sections, was judged less successful at the time, but like the Chaminade it has an arresting opening and some highly effective orchestral and solo writing, and it makes a fine companion piece to the other two works here. Recordings and presentation are well up to Hyperion’s customary standards, and the sponsorship of the Ambache Charitable Trust has done us all a service in supporting three works that fully deserve to be part of this series. Buy this disc for the Beach, and for Driver’s superbly clear-headed playing, but relish the bonuses of the Howell and Chaminade!
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