This is the 68th disc in Hyperion's superb series The Romantic Piano Concerto, and it features two first recordings. Charting the history of Moszkowski's 'other' concerto Jeremy Nicholas tells us in his engagingly enthusiastic notes that it lay undiscovered until 2008, and that after its premiere in 1875 remained in limbo (despite Liszt's praise) until 2014 when it was performed by Ludmil Angelov, Hyperion's present soloist.
Fascinating as such disclosures are , the piece compares unfavourably with Moszkowski's more familiar and scintillating Op 59 concerto—mature (Op 59) rather than student (Op 3) music.
The surprisingly sombre opening of Op 3 should not surprise us when you consider the second of Moszkowski's Op 24 Études, a dark rather than genial utterance memorably recorded by Seta Tanyel. This leads to a more familiar Chopin-inspired virtuoso glitter and burgeoning lyricism. The Adagio has a suitably starry close and the volleys of repeated notes in the perky Scherzo should delight virtuoso fanciers. The finale takes time to get off the ground and despite Nicholas's praise ('glorious' and 'delicious') the themes are more accessible than memorable: too little stays in the mind.
Nonetheless Ludmil Angelov, who I first heard when I was a jury member of the 1990 Palm Beach Invitational Competition where he won first prize, makes the most of his less than grateful task, playing with enviable fluency and affection. He is no less persuasive in the Schulz-Evler Russian Rhapsody, an insipid attempt at an alien idiom and no match for the famous Arabesques on the Blue Danube (where the note-spinning introduction sends 'spangles of sound spinning through the air').
Kiradjiev's partnership in the concerto is ideal. Finely recorded, Hyperion's enterprise remains beyond praise.