British Piano Concertos, Vol. 2

Album cover art for upc 5020926041623
Catalog: SRCD416

BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Bell, Stephen; Vass, George; Callaghan, Simon

Jacob’s Piano Concerto no.2 in E flat was completed in 1957 and premiered on 11 July of that year at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth by the soloist Edith Vogel. A Proms performance took place at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 August 1957 with the same soloist. A review in The Times of the 1957 Proms performance of Gordon Jacob’s Piano Concerto No.2 declared that ‘the composer’s masterly understanding of the orchestra enables him to express each idea economically and in the most clean and attractive colours’, while The Sunday Times’ critic wrote that, ‘having taught the craft of orchestration to a whole generation of composers, Dr. Jacob is himself a past master at clear and effective scoring’. Addison’s Variations for Piano and Orchestra was written in 1948 and revised the following year. According to Alan Poulton’s Dictionary-Catalog of Modern British Composers, It was first performed in a BBC broadcast in 1960 by Margaret Kitchin. The work is written for a small orchestra, comprising double woodwind, four horns, a pair each of trumpets and trombones, bass trombone, timpani, modest percussion and strings. Though the piano had played a prominent role in an earlier student piece by Rubbra, his Piano Concerto, Op.30 (1932) is the composer’s first fully-fledged, large-scale work for soloist and orchestra. The score features an elaborate solo part and requires substantial orchestral forces. [Paul Conway]

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