Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.16
Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.22
Orchestra of Opera North
Howard Shelley (piano)
Recorded 4 & 5 July 2008 in Victoria Hall, Leeds Town Hall
Reviewed by: Antony Hodgson
Reviewed: March 2009
CD No: CHANDOS CHAN 10509
Duration: 79 minutes
Naturally this sonic success is aided by the excellence of the timpanist. If, as here, the drum crescendo that commences the Grieg immediately grasps the attention by its forcefulness then it is a good indication that the conductor will ensure that the orchestral performance will remain vivid throughout and so it is here. Indeed the whole programme is notable for the intensity of the playing. Since solo instrument and orchestra are both the responsibility of Howard Shelley it is greatly to his credit that the attention is held from beginning to end.
These are very familiar works – in particular the Grieg and Schumann have been coupled innumerable times – but Shelley brings a refreshing and often very different approach to these pieces, commendably based on faithfulness to the printed scores.