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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol.39 Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Delius : Concerto pour piano en ut mineur (version originale) - John Ireland : Legend, pour piano & orchestre - Concerto pour piano en mi bemol majeur / Piers Lane, piano - Ulster Orchestra, dir. David Lloyd-Jones

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro Ma Non Troppo
  2. Largo
  3. Maestoso Con Moto Moderato
  4. Lento - Poco Piu Mosso - Broad
  5. In Tempo Moderato
  6. Lento Espressivo - Allegro - Cadenza
  7. Allegretto Giocoso


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 14, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: HYPERION
  • ASIN: B000C8OVEG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,801 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on February 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
John Ireland's piano concerto used to be performed fairly frequently when I was young. Even the so-called Legend, which is a second piano concerto manqué, used to feature with surprising frequency in BBC programming. These days I hear them far less often, so if this fine disc helps restore them to the popularity I feel they deserve it seems to me that we are all the gainers. For newcomers, or for those whose memories need refreshing, the liner-note is quite informative but slightly rambling and inconsequential. I was startled to read part-way through that 'We may never fully understand Ireland's sexuality' as I had no intention of even trying to, but as the writer then assured me that 'a brief consideration is central to both of his works on this CD' I read on. However it immediately turns out that 'we have very little to go on', so I guess the consideration had maybe better not be too central after all. In any case what this all seems to be about is his apparent attraction towards women considerably younger than himself, and I would not have thought that was particularly unusual or mysterious. One thing I seem to recall is that Ireland belonged in the tradition of eccentric English semi-recluses, living in some strange abode - a lighthouse or an upturned lifeboat on the edge of the fens or something of the kind. I have not been able to confirm this offhand, but if it's right it probably sheds more light on him than his elusive but hardly astonishing sexuality.

In fact the two works are perfectly easy to understand and enjoy without such extraneous clarification. The concerto in particular is a highly attractive piece, neither avant-garde nor reactionary.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the first recording of the original version of the Delius Piano Concerto, dating from 1904. Although the concerto enjoyed some popularity the composer was not pleased with the finale and reworked the orchestration with the piano part being rewritten by Theodor Szanto, a pupil of Busoni). The resulting movement did not really work as well as Delius' other concertos. The themes of the first movement were influenced by Afro-American music the composer heard in Florida with the middle movement shows the influence of Grieg with the inclusion of a horn solo. I did not find the final movement to be quite as good as the first two movements and can understand why Delius wanted to revise it. The orchestra writing is very beautiful but the piano did not seem to blend well. Parts of the movement gave me the impression that the music had been written strictly for orchestra with the piano part added later. The long cadenza is nicely written and the concerto ends with a marvelous flourish for piano and orchestra together.

John Ireland's Legend was an attempt to create a second piano concerto and, although the music probably had a program, Ireland did not provide one. The music seems to evoking a mystical experience and a friend of the composer related that the music was based on a scene Ireland witnessed of some dancing children who disappeared into thin air. Ireland's Piano Concerto was written in 1930 for his then love interest Helen Perkin. It was seen at the time as the British response to Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto but certainly shares nothing with the older work. The first movement is colorfully orchestrated and has a catchy and brilliant writing for the piano.
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Format: Audio CD
The Delius here is the original 3-movement format version composed in 1897, and this is apparently the first and only recording ever made of it. A very good work in this version. Several recordings exist (including conducted by Beecham Piano Concerto Violin Concert ) of the revised version made in 1906 which was cast into a 1-movement format. Having listened to both, I hold this original to be a far superior work and believe Delius should have left well enough alone.

I had not hear the Ireland works before acquiring this disc, but am most pleased with the quality of that music. This is a disc worth having.
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I am so used to the wonderful symphonic miniatures of Delius that I was shocked by this concerto. It does not even seem like him. I had hoped for something lyrical and light and sweet like his miniatures like In a summer Garden. This is not a very good concerto, worth it if you are curious. The Ireland piece you will like if you like Prokofiev concertos. It's modern and romps up and down the keyboard but neither concerto is memorable.
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