Herz: Piano Concertos Nos 3, 4 & 5

Hyperion’s record of the month for April is the much-anticipated second instalment of Howard Shelley’s premiere recordings of Henri Herz’s piano concertos.

Herz never tried to be a ‘great’ artist, though he was often judged against such criteria; he was an entertainer. Of course the concerto lends itself perfectly to this role and his eight concertos are full of charm, almost operatic melody and scintillating virtuosity. Needless to say Howard Shelley, who has made such exceptional recordings of the concertos of Hummel and Moscheles, is just the man for the job. If we can accept that music need not be profound to be enjoyed we should join the international music press in welcoming this revival of these works, the pop music of their time.

CDA67537  68 minutes 41 seconds
‘Here, magnificently performed and recorded, is music to set heads nodding and feet tapping, the epitome of art which scorns profundity and elevates pianistic acrobatics to a high and elegant plane’ ( ...
‘Howard Shelley is well up to the considerable technical challenges that these works present and, apart from phrasing intelligently himself, persuades the orchestra to follow suit. In all, a disc that ...
‘These charming concertos, the second of three volumes conducted by Shelley from the keyboard, are just the thing to set the feet tapping’ (The Observer)