Cello Concerto in D minor (1879-1880) [27:36]
Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat, Op.171 (orch. Geoffrey Bush) (1919) [37:43]
Alexander Baillie (cello); Malcolm
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicolas Braithwaite
rec. details not given LYRITA
companies would have flinched from including two totally
unknown works on one disc. Most would have dropped one of
the two and dashed for the safety of buttressing the familiar
with the unfamiliar. Not Lyrita. Instead they give us two
meaty concertos. The cello work is early while the piano
work is from five years short of the composer’s death when
fashion had turned its face against Stanford and Parry.
Concerto is in the same league as the later Dvořák
concerto with a first movement ripe with surging energy
and some really dramatic writing for the brass. The Molto
Adagio glows with gracious lyricism and while the manner
might be familiar from Dvořák and even Brahms the
listening experience is fresh and full of intriguing detail.
A noble allegretto reminded me at times of Dvořák
8 and at others very strongly of the Brahms Violin Concerto.
It’s a delightful work and an early crowning glory for
Piano Concerto survived only in two piano score. Because
the full score could not be found Geoffrey Bush - who did
so much for Stanford’s music and reputation – did the orchestration.
This time the stormy-heroic manner leans more noticeably
towards Brahms; nothing untoward in that. I found myself
thinking of the gymnastic euphoria of Brahms’ Second Piano
Concerto in the first and last of the three movements.
The middle movement – a Larghetto – includes extensive
calm solo episodes for the piano with gentle interventions
from the orchestra; these return most touchingly in the
finale. This is a very optimistic work radiating smiling
notes (in English only) by Lewis Foreman are well up to his
usual high standards in terms of content and readability.
have also have a look at John
France’s excellent review. I have tried to adopt a different
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