WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Berkeley: Piano Concerto In B Flat, Concerto For Two Pianos


Release Date: 08/07/2007 
Label:  Lyrita   Catalog #: 250   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  David WildeGarth BeckettBoyd McDonald
Conductor:  Norman Del MarNicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraNew Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $17.98
CD:  $15.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Lennox Berkeley was a very accomplished composer, but it's not hard to understand why his music has failed to catch on in the way the works of contemporaries such as Britten, Walton, or even Tippett have. To make a long story short, he lacks personality, that distinctive "something" that allows a listener to experience the pleasure of recognition when listening to each new work. That said, both of the compositions on this disc are really enjoyable. The booklet notes call the First Piano Concerto a "masterpiece", and it's hard to find cause to disagree. Berkeley's writing is fluent, his ideas are attractive and even memorable. The piano writing has plenty of brilliance perfectly balanced by lyricism, and David Wilde's Read more performance of the solo had the composer's own imprimatur. Perhaps if the piece were better known, Berkeley's qualities as a composer would be more widely recognized. Certainly this is one of the finest British piano concertos.

The Concerto for Two Pianos consists of a brief, preludial opening movement followed by a lengthy Theme and Variations. Berkeley packs this unusual format with plenty of contrast. His writing for the two pianos is expert: the music never sounds unduly thick and heavy, with the orchestra sometimes functioning as an unnecessary appendix to the full mass of piano tone. Again, the performance is excellent, and the sonics, while perhaps a touch distant, are otherwise up to Lyrita's extremely high standards. It's a pity that both of these pieces aren't more popular--and who knows, perhaps Berkeley is due for a reassessment. In the final analysis, though, he seems to be more of a musician's musician--not necessarily an "acquired taste" in the sense that his style is in any way difficult, but more the sort of thing for listeners who can appreciate fine craftsmanship for its own sake. If you're not a member of that group, this disc surely makes an excellent case for you to join.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in B flat major, Op. 29 by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  David Wilde (Piano), Garth Beckett (Piano), Boyd McDonald (Piano)
Conductor:  Norman Del Mar,  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
2.
Concerto for 2 Pianos, Op. 30 by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Garth Beckett (Piano), Boyd McDonald (Piano), David Wilde (Piano)
Conductor:  Norman Del Mar,  Nicholas Braithwaite
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; England 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In