> Ian Hobson: Huss - Schelling [RB]: Classical CD Reviews- Aug 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Henry Holden HUSS (1862-1953)
Piano Concerto in B major Op. 10 (1898) [31.05]
Ernest SCHELLING (1876-1939)

Suite Fantastique Op. 7 (1905) [29.32]
Ian Hobson (piano)
BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins
rec. 9-10 Jan 1997
The Romantic Piano Concerto series Vol. No. 16
HYPERION CDA 66949 [60.50]


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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 piano score.

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 Henry Wood.

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.

Rob Barnett

Also see: Hyperion Romantic Piano Series

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