Master of the Queen’s Music from 1975 until his death in 2003—a post that becomes free again this month—Australian-born composer Malcolm Williamson left a body of work scarcely performed today.
His six freewheeling piano concertos are often reminiscent of Poulenc, sometimes of Bernstein. No 4, recorded for the first time since its composition 20 years ago, coming in at a scant 15 minutes, is, like most of its companions, too brief a canter through the genre to regularly enter the concert repertoire. For the Sinfonia Concertante the piano is joined by three trumpets, and pianist Howard Shelley, conducting throughout, plays a second piano in the Concerto in A minor (1971). A box of surprises.