This is a two-disc set featuring three modern piano concertos performed by the British pianist Joanna MacGregor. But I bought it for the Harrison Birtwistle concerto, "Antiphonies for Piano and Orchestra" (1993 -- 33'49), so that is where I will start.
As MacGregor explains in her excellent liner notes, "...clearly Antiphonies is an anti-concerto in the sense that the soloist does not dominate the orchestra in a traditional way... The piano writing is often harsh, densely chordal, intricately rhythmic, and has to lock in with different sections of the orchestra; overall the pianist fights to be heard. I absolutely loved (and still do) being inside such a gargantuan, fierce universe..." She goes on to talk about Michael Gielen's work with the obscure Dutch orchestra (Radio Filharmonisch Orkest) on the difficult score, eventually coaxing a fine performance from the reluctant musicians. This is an awesome work, which Birtwistle wrote not long after finishing his opera "Gawain."
The rest of the first disc contains "Harrison's Clocks for piano solo" (1998 -- 26'09), a fascinating cycle of five pieces that are a synthesis of etudes and tocattas.
The second disc consists of two more accessible concertos by Hugh Wood and Lou Harrison. Wood (b. 1932) was MacGregor's composition tutor at Cambridge, and he wrote the "Piano Concerto Op. 31" (1991 -- 32'40) for her. In three movements, it sounds like an early 20th century work, an accessible Second Vienna School piece perhaps, Berg with a touch of Debussy in the lovely central Adagio mesto. Andrew Davis leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
The maverick West Coast American composer, Lou Harrison (1917-2003), was heavily influenced by Indonesian gamelan music, and this is readily apparent in his "Piano Concerto with Selected Orchestra" (1985 -- 30'24) in three movements. It is the most accessible of the three works, with standard tonality, beautiful melody in the Largo, and jazzy, dancing rhythms in the "Stampede, Allegro." Sian Edwards leads the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Apparently this is part of a Warner Classics reissue series of MacGregor's recordings from her own label, Sound Circus. I haven't heard any of the others, but based on her performances here, I am sure they are well worth seeking out. All three of these concertos are spendidly done, and "Antiphonies" is a great Birtwistle work, making this an important addition to his body of recordings.