Customer Review

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glitter but no substance, 5 April 2012
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This review is from: Romantic Piano Concerto Vol. 56 (Piano Concerto No 2/ 3) (Hyperion: CDA67843) (Audio CD)
I bought this CD on impulse having heard the first movement of Concerto No.2 on the car radio. Frankly I wish i hadn't bothered. In its early days the Romantic Piano Concerto series was a treasury of inexplicably neglected masterpieces. (The concertos by Medtner, Paderewski and Moszkowski particularly spring to mind). Unfortunately, having reached Volume 56 we're now firmly into territory where the reasons for the works' neglect are all too obvious. Having played this CD once I have no great desire ever to do so again. The best I can say is that first movement of Concerto No.2 is quite attractive in a vacuous, instantly forgettable sort of way. The rest of the music is simply instantly forgettable. None of this is intended as criticism of Howard Shelley or his Tasmanian orchestra whose playing is beyond criticism. It's just a pity the music isn't more worthy of their enormous skill and I'm still wondering why they bothered. The amusing sleeve notes are the best part of the package.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Apr 2012 14:41:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Apr 2012 14:47:36 BDT
BERLIN DOC says:
I have to agree with you totally.
I have bought this complete series up until vol. 55, and reviewed their 50th offering highly (Tchaikovsky)
However, having memories of the earlier Kaltbrenner offering, I decided to be more selective from now on. I am not faulting the soloist or orchestra/conductor. It is the material. My shelves are loaded and I don't wish to add yet further discs that are played once and then shelved, never to be replayed.
Other labels, for example Naxos and Dutton are showing there still a wealth of concerto music out there which is delightful, and which one wants to listen to again and again.
I can understand this issue being a completion of Kaltbrenner's concertos, but please Hyperion. Let's have more 'memorable' melodies.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2012 19:05:13 GMT
Is this series Howard Shelley's pension plan. We are now way beyond chaff and approaching the earth's core under the barrel. What a total waste of Shelley's talent. Stop now. If someone with some kind of critical faculty discovers a 'lost' work of merit then fine release it but this series has now reached the end of its useful life. Out of all the concerti recorded what % will reach the concert platform? The likes of Medtner yes. This sort of dross will empty halls. A friend of mine many years ago proposed a new title for a BBC series 'Unplayed Chamber Music by the Lesser-known Pupils of Spohr'. My reply was how about 'Your 100 Best Tone Rows'. Cheers.
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Location: Perth, Scotland

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