Notes and Editorial Reviews
Henry Litolff's delightful works for piano and orchestra published under the label "Concerto Symphonique" have not deserved their current neglect, and Hyperion's advocacy on their behalf represents one of many high points in its estimable "Romantic Piano Concerto" series. A dedicated anti-monarchist, Litolff composed his Third Concerto Symphonique in order to express his gratitude to the people of the Netherlands for providing a refuge after his escape from an English jail. The work incorporates several Dutch tunes, and places the scherzo second. Peter Donohoe and Andrew Litton have a field day with this charming piece. Here, as in the rather weightier opening movement of Concerto Symphonique No. 5, their light touch and buoyant rhythmic
foundation prevent this sometimes foursquare music from bogging down. They imbue both slow movements with an appealingly operatic lyricism and project the music of the scherzos with a real sense of fun. Donohoe offers an especially well-paced finale to No. 5, an ambitious work that can all-too-easily succumb to excessive grandiosity, but which here remains freshly imagined from first note to last. Excellent sound completes a mightily attractive picture.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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