Two half hour piano concertante works of contrasted character
and intention: one turbulent - a hothouse barnstormer; the other a lilt
and glitter cassation.
The Huss work is out of the early Russian school
partaking of heady draughts from Scriabin's glorious tuneful concerto
and the Arensky No. 2 and from Schumann and Tchaikovsky. It gambols
rock solid in echo and glinting impact. It is a most individual work
of the grandest aspiration. On this occasion, the masterful soloist,
Ian Hobson (who contributes the booklet note), also had to orchestrate
a section of the work due to a break in the full score. In doing this
Mr Hobson assures us that he followed Huss's indications in the two
Huss was of German ancestry though born in the USA.
He claimed Bohemian blood. In line with the uniform convention of the
day Huss studied in Germany - in Munich with Rheinberger.
Schelling, part English and part Swiss, was
accepted as a student at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of seven.
Paderewski took Schelling as his only American pupil between 1898 and
1902. Apart from his virtuoso activities he was also conductor of the
Baltimore Symphony. He wrote no piano concerto as such but there are
two works for piano and orchestra: Impressions from an Artist's
Life is one and the other is on this disc. If the Huss is a work
of stormy passions the Schelling Suite is a lighter confection perhaps
with a trace of Moskowski’s pictorialism. It was premiered in 1907 by
the composer with Mengelberg conducting the Concertgebouw. Subsequently
it was taken up by Moiseiwitsch and played in London at the Proms under
The recordig shows an awesome bass extension (listen
to the 'whump' of the gran cassa at the start of the Huss). It
is worthy of the best Charles Gerhardt/George Korngold efforts for RCA
in the 1970s.
Piano Concerto fanciers have a great deal to for which
to thank Hyperion.
Also see: Hyperion
Romantic Piano Series