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COMPOSERS: Glazunov/Goedicke
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in F minor; Piano Concerto No. 2 in B; Goedicke: Concertstück in D
PERFORMER: Stephen Coombs (piano); BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins
This latest volume in Hyperion’s ‘Romantic Piano Concerto’ series offers sparkling performances of Glazunov’s two piano concertos. Stephen Coombs (who has also recorded all of Glazunov’s solo piano music) is a fine advocate of this repertoire and, with sympathetic support from Martyn Brabbins, he luxuriates in Glazunov’s exploitation of the orchestral and pianistic possibilities in keyboard writing. His fluency and virtuosity in the opening Allegro of the F minor Concerto conveys its opulent Romanticism; while in the second movement – an ingenious fusion of slow movement, scherzo and finale in variation form – his playing is by turns gloriously extrovert and affectionately intimate. Coombs likewise gives a satisfyingly coherent account of Glazunov’s fluid formal scheme in the B major Concerto, capturing the autumnal warmth of the first movement, the idyllic tranquillity of the Andante and the stirring grandeur of the finale. His glittering keyboard technique and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s superbly recorded orchestral colours also bring Goedicke’s splendid Concertstück vividly to life, revealing the considerable talent of Medtner’s lesser-known cousin. Nicholas Rast