Lutyens • Maconchy • Errollyn Wallen: Piano Concerto etc
Martin Jones, *Rebeca Omordia (piano); BBC Concert Orchestra/John Andrews (Resonus)
Lutyens • Maconchy • Errollyn Wallen
Maconchy: Dialogue; Lutyens: Eos; Music for Piano and Orchestra; Errollyn Wallen: Piano Concerto*
Martin Jones, *Rebeca Omordia (piano); BBC Concert Orchestra/John Andrews
Resonus RES 10315 58:47 mins
This terrific recording features three composers, two pianists and one orchestra. All the pieces are premieres on disc – and they are discoveries you’ll want to hear many times again. Recorded in bright, clean sound, packaged with clear, informative notes, this programme showcases valuable additions to the piano concerto repertoire from across the 20th and 21st centuries.
We begin in 1941, with Elizabeth Maconchy’s Dialogue for piano and orchestra: four compact, distinctive movements, each no longer than five minutes. Ominous, brooding material builds into a Lento moderato of Shostakovichian bleakness, followed by a conversational Allegro moderato. In the solemn Sostenuto, passages of tonal beauty rise out of dissonance, like cathedral spires emerging from mist, while the Presto dances like a disjointed tarantella. Soloist Martin Jones and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by John Andrews capture the music’s bite and purpose.
Elisabeth Lutyens’s Eos for chamber orchestra and the mesmerising Music for Piano and Orchestra take us forward to the 1960s and ’70s, and a world of distilled gestures and atmospheric use of instrumental timbre. Errollyn Wallen’s Piano Concerto brings us into the present day, though its inspiration comes from Paris of a hundred years ago – the opening snap immediately connects the piece to Ravel’s Concerto in G major, whose instrumentation Wallen uses as a model. Every movement offers entertainment, superbly played by soloist Rebeca Omordia, from the bluesy second movement, the gossamer-light third and a finale that bursts with life.