Marius Dawn
August 2015

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with their versatile conductor and pianist Howard Shelley have unearthed so many Romantic piano concertos that one fears they'll run out. Luckily not! Here the less-than-original Henri Herz is treated with as much gravitas as his fellow composer and friend Chopin might be. Herz's showy crowd-pleasers are played with such elegance and security that they sound better than they are. There's nothing wrong with the light music when the standard is this high. Concerto No 2 is fine, but the real fun starts with the Two Grande Fantasies on popular operas and the sparkling Polonaise where Shelley lets his hair down to splendid effect.