Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but that's all, 12 April 2013
This review is from: Romantic Piano Concerto Vol.59 [Jonathan Plowright, Lukasz Borowicz ] [Hyperion: CDA67958] (Audio CD)
I'm really happy record companies like Hyperion delve into the byways of the classical repertoire to influence buyers like me with pleasant surprises and many new things. Years ago I didn't have any notion of Polish piano concertos between the ones of Chopin and the next Polish piano concerto I knew, the one of Ludomir Rozycki from 1918. The start of the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concertos series blasted off with a Paderewski and Moszkowski (not a Pole perse by the way) volume and after that they gave us the Polish concertos of Stojowski, Melcer, Scharwenka (half Polish/half Prussian) etc. And now they delve even deeper with concertos by Zarzycki and Zelenski. Warning: they aren't earth-shattering, this is just a pleasant listening experience; works for which no intellectual thinking is necessary. Just let the music flow over you and enjoy the beautiful and presumably very difficult piano part here very well played by mr. Plowright. The orchestral accompaniment is another matter. This is the field in which these works - and many discs in this excellent Hyperion collection - fail to attract. That's not Hyperion's fault but the composers. If you think Chopin was a great orchestrator - you're wrong by the way - this is in the same league. Nothing seriously challenging happens, the confrontation between piano and orchestra is absent most of the time. No spicy things, not even much pepper and salt. A Krakowiak thing, a Polonaise rhythm etc. and that's it. Did the concertos of Brahms or Tchaikofsky, Grieg, or Schumann have any influence at all on Zelenski, who's concerto op.60 is from 1904? Or, he could have been totally unaware of their existence, or didn't have the compositional skill to do much something with the orchestra. I don't know. So, a fine hour of good music making and if you'd let an experienced friend listen to these concertos and tell him or her, `listen, here're new recordings of concertos by Stompowicz', he'll immediately believe you.
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