Lang Lang: Nigel Hess Piano Concerto CD
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Top Customer Reviews
Hess is primarily a film music composer, and clearly needed the `hook' of a extra-musical concept in order to get his creative juices flowing, however he wouldn't be alone amongst composers in this. Certainly the concerto itself shows no signs of being any kind of detailed narrative.
If you're expecting a deep and intellectual work, then this isn't for you, but if you value melodic interest and an effective ear for orchestration (i.e. good tunes and a full orchestra) then this concerto is very much for you. Yes, it's derivative in places, but at the same time it holds the attention and isn't afraid of direct communication.
Lang Lang isn't exactly a shrinking violet, and he plays with conviction. The London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christopher Warren-Green similarly play with passion.
On a less positive note, this is very poorly packaged: It takes more than the soloist to play a concerto- a pity the orchestra and conductor were hidden amongst the small print!!
Especially the second movement is sublime.
Yes it would have been nice to have something else on the cd as it is short. However still music is brilliant.
Well done Nigel.(and Lang)
I heard track 2 "The Love" on Classic FM as I was flicking through the channels and enjoyed it so much I went straight online and bought it. I learnt that the music was composed to celebrate the Queen Mum's life.
Tracks 1 and 3 are starting to grow on me but they don't have the melodic impact of track 2.
The piano part at the beginning of Track 1 "The Smile" seems to me to be to be overblown, almost as though Lang Lang was saying "Hey look at me! See how fast I can play the piano!" (I'm sure he wasn't, however). I can see the composer's attempt to catch the twinkling in the Queen Mum's eyes, but it leaves me cold. As the track progresses this element is pushed back in the mix and redemption is acheived.
Track 3; "The Duty", also seems to me to be trying to be too clever, with an unusual bass syncopation, although again as the track progresses the odd bass line recedes and a rather nice martial tune is revealed.
All in all a great listen, but track 2 always steals the show.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had never heard any of Nigel Hess' music until hearing the 2nd movement of this concerto on Classic FM. Decided to buy the whole piece as I liked the 2nd movement so much. Read morePublished 5 months ago by The Observer
Beautiful, I adore this, blows me away, I would give it ten stars if I only could.Published 10 months ago by originalisa