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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 23 - Holbrooke, Wood

Album Summary

>Joseph Holbrooke : Concerto for Piano no 1 ("The Song of Gwyn ap Nudd"), Op. 52
>Wood, Haydn : Concerto for Piano in D minor
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

These two English piano concertos in the grand romantic tradition were written at almost the same time (Holbrooke 1908, Wood 1909) and wereundoubtedly inspired by the great concertos of the previous few decades such as those of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. The Wood concerto is a world premiere recording. Though Haydn Wood later made his name writing shorter pieces of light music, his early concerto is in full blown romantic style. Performances and sound are first rate.

'Extremely well played by Hamish Milne and the excellent BBC Scottish Symphony. If you are attracted by the repertoire, give it a try: you will not be disappointed.' (International Record Review)

'Superlative performances of two forgotten British gems ... An altogether exemplary release.' (Gramophone)

'The playing is first class and the recording is super' (American Record Guide)

'Marvellous performances and recording' (Hi-Fi News & Record Review)

'Hamish Milne plays "to the manner born" in his elegant and mesmerizing realization of both scores. A must for the "Romantic" collector' (Fanfare, USA)

'One for the end of year awards. An outstanding issue in every way' (Classic CD)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Holbrooke's ambitious First Piano Concerto is by some margin the most impressive orchestral piece of his to appear on disc. Dubbed a symphonic poem by its creator, it follows the narra- tive of a poem based on a Welsh legend by his patron Lord Howard de Walden entitled TheSong of Gwyn ap Nudd. Yet the work can also be appreciated perfectly well as a red-blooded Romantic concerto in the grand tradition. Holbrooke handles proceedings with deft resourcefulness and a vaulting sweep. It receives outstandingly eloquent and tirelessly committed treatment in this performance.

An altogether more straightforward confection is the D minor Piano Concerto by Haydn Wood (1882-1959), who, before he made his name in the field of light music, was a gifted violinist and composition pupil of Stanford. Indeed, Stanford conducted the Queen's Hall premiere of Wood's big-boned D minor Concerto in July 1909.

Grieg's Concerto is the obvious template, and there are stylistic echoes of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and MacDowell. The opening movement is full of effective display, and boasts a ravishing secondary idea. By far the best music comes in the central Andante - a haunting, deeply felt essay, boasting some wistfully fragrant orchestral sonorities. Not a great work, by any means, but incurable romantics will devour it.



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Works Details

>Joseph Holbrooke : Concerto for Piano no 1 ("The Song of Gwyn ap Nudd"), Op. 52
  • Performer: Hamish Milne (Piano)
  • Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland (06/04/1999-06/05/1999)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1908

>Wood, Haydn : Concerto for Piano in D minor
  • Performer: Hamish Milne (Piano)
  • Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland (06/04/1999-06/05/1999)
  • Running Time: 15 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1909