The Romantic Piano Concerto series reaches Volume 61, and continues to probe into the obscurest depths of the nineteenth-century piano world. Döhler’s Piano Concerto in A major and Dreyschock’s Salut à Vienne are both first recordings. The two composer-pianists were contemporaries, both child prodigies and both hugely admired in their day. Today their names are not even faintly familiar to concert-goers.
Döhler’s Concerto is pure entertainment: a lavishly ornamented virtuoso confection that requires a high-wire act from the soloist from start to finish. Dreyschock’s Morceau de concert, Op 27, is dedicated to the Philharmonic Society of London. It opens with a Beethovenian declamation—and indeed throughoutRead more the piece there are allusions to several Beethoven works, notably the ‘Appassionata’ Sonata. Salut à Vienne is a lighthearted but highly effective showpiece.
These all-but-forgotten works live again through the stylish artistry and technical brilliance of Howard Shelley, who is both soloist and conductor of his long-term collaborators, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Shelley's panache is remarkable and it’s a feat to keep the orchestra on track, even if that area is hardly of Brahmsian depth. For all the occasional superficialities of some of the writing, there’s no doubting the performers’ commitment and Shelley’s splendid pianism.
– MusicWeb International
On paper these forgotten scores belong firmly in the Chopin-wannabes category, but played like this with virtuoso panache and total conviction they sound like neglected masterworks.
Excellent New DiscoveriesAugust 21, 2014By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"Volume 61 in Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series contains works by 2 early-mid 10th century composers, Theodore Dohler and Alexander Dreyschock. Like many others in Hyperion's series, the composers here are undoubtedly not well known in this country; in fact, Dohler's Piano Concerto receives its first recording, as does Dreyschock's Salut a' Vienne. To be totally correct, Dreyschock may not be a complete unknown to devotees of the Hyperion project, as his Piano Concerto, Op. 137, is contained on Volume 21 from several years ago. Regardless of 21st century visibility or lack thereof, these two composers produced excellent works for piano and orchestra, as this outstanding disk demonstrates. Dohler's Piano Concerto in A Major, from 1836, keeps pianist Howard Shelley fully occupied for 28 minutes in a lyrical, airy, and dynamic performance. It is indeed a worthwhile recording premiere, fully in the spirit of the early Romantic Era, in which such personalities as Schumann, Mendelssohn,and Chopin emerged. Dreyschock's two compositions are not titled as pure concertos (Morceau de Concert from 1845 and the aforementioned Salut a' Vienne (1846), but they fully merit inclusion in the Romantic Piano Concerto series- energetic, up tempo works with catchy piano and orchestral writing. As usual, Hyperion gives the listener state of the art sound, which brings out the high quality of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. So in summary, I am happy to say that here is another winner from Hyperion, and one really has to wonder how much more of this high octane gasoline is left in Hyperion's tank. Let's hope there is plenty to keep the Romantic Piano Concerto juggernaut rolling along. This volume certainly does credit to the series. Highly recommended."Report Abuse