Hyperion presents another entertaining addition to the renowned Romantic Piano Concerto series catalogue, this time with three world première recordings featuring the complete works for piano and orchestra by Sir Frederic Hymen Cowen and Sir Arthur Somervell. In his day, Cowen was a hugely successful contemporary of Stanford and Parry. His Concertstück was written in 1897 for Paderewski, who gave the premiere to much acclaim. Somervell is best known for his songs and he wrote comparatively little orchestral music. His symphonic variations, entitled Normandy, were premiered in 1913 by the great scholar and pianist Donald Francis Tovey who did much to champion them. The Highland concerto is a late work written for, and premiered by, the Scottish pianist Jessie Munro. It is an uncomplicated and enjoyable romp based on Scottish-sounding themes, which are nevertheless original Somervell. As usual, Martin Roscoe and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are on scintillating form throughout.
Roscoe is a pianist who both thinks and offers full-blooded playing of breadth and depth. --The Daily Telegraph