The performances on this disc are spirited, well-shaped and refined

The performances on this disc are spirited, well-shaped and refined

Pizzicato, Uwe Krusch

Hyperion’s series, ‘The Romantic Piano Concerto’, seems to be an almost inexhaustible resource. Now with two more barely referenced and yet honorable concertos, those of Rheinberger and Scholz, we are already up to the 76th volume. Both works are characterized by sophisticated music, which uses virtuoso elements only to increase the expression and not as a superficial ornament. What you will look for in vain and indeed why these concertos may rarely heard, are catchy melodies. Nevertheless, both are expressive representatives of their genre and worth opening up to the world.

The pianist Simon Callaghan has appeared in this series with the concertos of Roger Sacheverell Coke already, together with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and is dedicated to otherwise rarely-played pieces, achieving considerable success.

New is the young conductor Ben Gernon, who won the ‘Young Conductors Award’ in Salzburg and has since received great respect. Together they perform the works presented here with delicate finesse and deep immersion in the compositional worlds, which make Bach appear as well as Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schumann light up. But these references are only references, the works also shine with the personal tone language of their creators.

Reviewer’s footnote:

Hyperion’s series of romantic piano concertos now features concertos by Rheinberger and Scholz. Both composers use expressive material with demanding, but never virtuosity for its own sake. The performances on this disc are spirited, well-shaped and refined.