The Romantic Piano Concerto 78 – Clara Schumann et al
Howard Shelley (piano & conductor), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Hyperion gives us four more charming concertante works on this their seventy-eighth release in this superb series. On this occasion the featured pianist is Howard Shelley who also directs the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Clara Schumann’s teenage piece her Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7 gets the star billing. This work remains the most ambitious that the young Clara penned and it contains some considerable technical challenges that Howard Shelley takes in his stride during this short, three movement piece.
Henri Herz’s Rondo de concert, Op. 27 is a piece brimming with graceful brilliance, but to my mind Ferdinand Hiller’s Konzertstück for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 113 is the most substantial piece of the four on offer.
The final work of this volume, Le rêve, Op. 113, composed by Kalkbrenner in 1833, is an effective little showpiece. Written in F sharp minor (the ‘romantic’ key), Le rêve is dedicated to Czerny and subtitled ‘Grande Fantaisie’ and ends with a march that utilizes machine-gun octaves, brilliant scale passages and all the other formidable arsenal of weapons at Kalkbrenner’s disposal.
Thanks, in no small part, to Howard Shelley’s dazzling performances this is another fine addition to this valuable series that all lovers of romantic piano works will want to add to their collection.
Hyperion recordings are not available on any streaming platform but extracts can be played from their website.