Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|York Bowen, Vernon Handley, BBC Concert Orchestra|
York Bowen: Violin Concerto; Piano Concerto
Listen to Samples
Not the best of Bowen
Ursiform | Torrance, CA USA | 03/04/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing a Bowen piece on the radio I decided to look into some of his music. Although once called the "English Rachmaninoff", these pieces have little of the lush, brooding, melancholy of Rachmaninoff.
In the Violin Concerto I had the sense that Bowen, a pianist, was struggling with the balance between the soloist and the orchestra. Much of the violin solo has minimal accompaniment, with swells and flourishes bringing in the whole orchestra here and there. While the piece has a late romantic feel to it, it never establishes either the drama or the melodic line to keep the listener engaged.
The first Piano Concerto, a teenage work, begins with a big solo piano entry which brought to mind the first MacDowell concerto.* But, while the piece offers a lot of virtuoso keyboard fireworks, as a whole it is not compelling. Like many such showpiece concerti there is more flash than musical depth. Bowen's lack of maturity as a composer also shows; his later piano concerti show a stronger command of the orchestra and better balance with the soloist.**
* MacDowell: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
** York Bowen: Piano Concerto No. 2; Piano Concerto No. 3; Symphonic Fantasia, Op. 16; Bowen: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4"