WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org
Welcome to ArkivMusic, the retail store for CLOFO!

Britten: Piano Concerto Op 13, Diversions, Young Apollos / Osborne, Volkov


Release Date: 09/09/2008 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67625   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Steven Osborne
Conductor:  Ilan Volkov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A great case made for Britten's piano works, and a pianist to challenge Richter.

Commissioned as a 24-year-old to compose and perform a piano concerto for the 1938 Proms, Britten played safe. None of the edginess he might have filched from Bartok or Stravinsky, no Bergian angst: instead, the models are Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Ravel, and in these terms he doesn't miss a trick, at least before the finale's rather perfunctory final gallop. Most of the piece takes a genuinely fresh look at pianistic conventions, and Steven Osborne yields nothing to the great Sviatoslav Richter in the punchiness and fine-tuned filigree of his playing. No skating over the surface here, with Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish SO adept at
Read more teasing out the music's symphonic subtext, as well as its piquant orchestral effects.

Britten replaced the original slow movement in 1945, possibly because it spent too much time in waltz-like regions already visited in the second movement. This disc adds it anyway, alongside two other scores for piano and orchestra. Young Apollo (1939) was not heard for half a century after its premiere, perhaps discarded by Britten because its fanfare-like material was more effectively deployed in Les illuminations (also 1939). It's a quirky piece, difficult to programme, a euphorically unguarded response to Keats's vision of male beauty in Hyperion.

Diversions is on a much grander scale, its style making even clearer those debts to Mahler which Britten had allowed to surface now and again in the concerto. The multifarious challenges to the single-handed soloist create moments of strong emotional depth and, as throughout the disc, Osborne and his colleagues make the best possible case for pieces which have tended to be placed on the outer fringes of the Britten canon. The recordings, made in Glasgow's Henry Wood Hall, have ample depth of sonority and vividness of colour.

-- Arnold Whittall, Gramophone [10/2008]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in D major, Op. 13 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Conductor:  Ilan Volkov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938/1945; England 
Length: 41 Minutes 4 Secs. 
2.
Young Apollo, Op. 16 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Conductor:  Ilan Volkov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
Diversions for Piano left hand and Orchestra, Op. 21 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Conductor:  Ilan Volkov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940/1954; England 
Length: 20 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title