piano concertos -
STEPHEN FRANCIS VASTA
'... power, fluency, and dynamic control ...'
The Hyperion 'Romantic Piano Concerto' series, of which this is identified as volume 59, brings two hitherto obscure composers to light. I'd not previously known of either Władysław Żeleński (1837-1921) or Aleksander Zarzycki (1834-1895), though they're rough contemporaries of composer and renowned virtuoso pianist Ignaz Jan Paderewski. Recent recordings have demonstrated that Paderewski's concerto, for all its flashy gestures, is a substantial and expressive work, and so are the scores of his two compatriots here.
In fact, the opening of the Żeleński concerto, its big, resounding chords set off by limpid, flowing figurations, suggest that the composer's model was Brahms...
Copyright © 11 December 2013
Stephen Francis Vasta,
New York, USA