Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|York Bowen, Vernon Handley, BBC Concert Orchestra|
York Bowen: Piano Concerto No. 2; Piano Concerto No. 3; Symphonic Fantasia, Op. 16
Listen to Samples
D. A Wend | Buffalo Grove, IL USA | 12/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the opening fanfare bars, I found York Bowen's Second Piano Concerto an engaging work. The piano enters with a short but brilliant cadenza followed by a very charming dialogue between piano and orchestra characterized by some magnificent writing for the piano. The concerto is played without pause so we move into the expressive slow movement seamlessly. The exuberant finale is announced with a flourish by the orchestra followed by the piano picking up the melody and continues with increasing exhilaration to the final bars. The concerto was first performed in 1906 and had a few performances over the years but was forgotten, a fate that was undeserved.
The Third Piano Concerto was first performed in 1908 and is also played in one movement. The work begins with a dramatic fanfare with horns and piano and enters upon a spirited melody for the soloist punctuated by the orchestra. The dynamic opening music gives way to a romantic second subject and a very charming intermezzo. The Finale is characterized by brilliant passagework for the piano with a charming accompaniment by the orchestra concluding with a brief fanfare for trumpet and horns.
The Symphonic Fantasia was composed in 1905 between Bowen's First and Second symphonies. The music was described as a tone poem and is reminiscent of Richard Strauss but has no program. The music is broken into 6 sections beginning with a slow introduction followed by a romantic melody that is nicely developed, building to a climax. There follows a slow section with a violin solo leading into an Appassionato section for strings which is followed by a charming waltz interlude. The fifth section is a stirring march that heralds the final section which returns to the opening tempo and mood, the romantic music picked up by a solo violin and gradually fading away.
The performances are nicely played by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted by Vernon Handley. The piano concerti are beautifully played by Michael Dussex, who is new to me but has a substantial discography that includes chamber, piano music and concertos. One wonders why Hyperion has not added York Bowen's piano concerti to their "Romantic Piano Concerto" series thus far. The Dutton recording more than fills the gap.
Eclectic and interesting
Bill Leubrie | Seattle | 08/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not certain how this got onto my wish list. I'd never heard of York Bowen. I think maybe the cover illustration was amusing. Then came my birthday and a nice person cleared my wish list for me. It often takes me several playings to appreciate a new piece of music, and these pieces took me more than most. The music is eclectic. Bits remind me of everybody from Mahler to Tan Dun. I find isolated bits of it coming back to me at odd moments throughout the day. I still haven't developed a coherent sense of any of these pieces, but I'm working at it, with some assurance it may come. The level of attention and interest this disk has inspired in me is itself worth the price of admission."