Saturday, January 30, 2010

Awards 2009: Concerto

Bowen: Piano concertos nos.3 & 4
Danny Driver; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins

One key fact every bluffer needs to know about York Bowen is that Kaikhosru Sorabji described his Piano concerto no.4 as the greatest work for piano and orchestra written by an Englishman, and he also said Bowen was a "great Master". Of course, for this piece of trivia to be used wisely one has to know who Sorabji was. Best leave it. Anyway, Jeremy Nicholas in Gramophone says "Hearing these two works, it's hard to deny that Sorabji had a point". Gil French in American Record Guide describes the album as "absolutely stunning... What a way to be introduced to the music of York Bowen!" In fairness, not all critics were as impressed by the music's value in the grand scheme of things, but perhaps the general attitude can be summed up by Ian Lace on MusicWeb: "Derivative but delightful. A wonderful romantic wallow".

Bate, Bell: Viola concertos. Roger Chase; BBC Concert Orchestra/Steve Bell [Dutton]
Beethoven: Piano concertos nos.2 & 3. François-Frédéric Guy; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Philippe Jordan [Naive]
Crusell: Clarinet concertos.
Martin Fröst; Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Okko Kamu [BIS]
Walton: Cello concerto; Music by Bloch, Britten, Ligeti. Peter Wispelwey; Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Jeffrey Tate [Onyx]

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