Hyperion's record of the month for January presents, for the first time, the original version of Delius's Piano Concerto. Two years after completing this work in 1904, Delius recast it, rejecting the third movement and reorganizing other material. Perhaps thinking that the solo part wasn't sufficiently pianistic, Delius also consulted a friend, the Busoni pupil Theodor Szántó, who rewrote the piano part in virtuoso style (with Delius's ultimate approval). It is the Szántó version that has, until now, always been performed. With Delius's original, characteristically refined orchestration also restored (from the orchestral parts that survive from the first performance in 1904), we can now hear this work as the composer envisaged before the involvement of another hand. The result is closer to what we think of as quintessential Delius. Piers Lane and David Lloyd-Jones form an ideal partnership, and the result is a revelation.
John Ireland's Piano Concerto, written in 1930, was seen at the time as a British response to Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto, and it has additional resonances of Ravel and Gershwin. The work was an immediate success and became the pre-eminent British piano concerto, performed by Clifford Curzon, Moura Lympany, Eileen Joyce, Gina Bachauer and Artur Rubinstein. Encouraged by its success Ireland planned to write a second concerto, but he only completed one movement, the Legend, in 1933. Once more Piers Lane and the Ulster musicians bring an engaging energy and flair to this exciting music.
Concerto gets strong advocacy from Lane, Lloyd-Jones and the Ulster Orchestra. The two Ireland works, Legend and the Piano Concerto, make ideal companions on this highly attractive, collectable disc« (Sunday Times)
»it is interesting to hear Delius in a robust frame of mind, and the performance itself is one of great allure and power« (The Daily Telegraph)
»Lane gives engagingly virtuoso, extrovert and affectionate performances throughout« (Classic FM Magazine)
»Throughout, Piers Lane is sympathetic, sensitive and a virtuoso, and the support from David Lloyd-Jones and the Ulster Orchestra is exact. The vivid recording presents an exemplary balance between piano and orchestra« (Fanfare, USA)
I. Harden in FonoForum 07 / 06: »Der Pianist konzentriert sich, mit vorwiegend glänzenden Ergebnissen, auf die virtuose Musik der Spät- und Nachromantik, und er spielt auch die drei Werke dieser Neuproduktion überlegen, klangschön und mit ebenso kluger wie formbewusster Charakterisierung.«