Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concertos series has reached volume 68, and if recent volumes failed to impress this reviewer, this latest offers a major discovery. Lovers off Romantic piano concertos will know Moszkowski's E major Concerto opus 59 others may be familiar with the composer's etudes or Etincelles, a favourite Howowitz encore). The E major Concerto, played by Piers Lane in volume 1 of the Hyperion series (there are other fine recordings, not least Joseph Moog's recent Onyx one), was long been believed to unearthed an earlier concerto, in B minor. He was the first to perform and record what is, in short, a masterpiece and one of the most important additions to the Romantic piano concerto repertoire.
The technical remands will likely keep the concerto away from a majority of pianists, however the musical quality and brilliant orchestration are rewarding for soloist, conductor and not least, an audience. The four-movement work is over 50 minutes long and in the same heavyweight class as Brahms's Second Concerto, which also has four movements. The longest is the 20-minute last movement Allegro, where the demands on the soloist even exceed those devised by Brahms. The rest of the disc is taken up by the 11-minute Russian Rhapsody by Adolf Schulz-Evler, the composer known for his wizardly 'Blue Danube' transcription. This is sheer frivolity and fun—a joyous ride over the black-and-white keys—but something that doesn't carry the weight or leave as huge an impression that the magnificent Moszkowski opus 3 Concerto does.