Firstly, a brief explanation of this review's title. I am one of a group of lovers of Piano concertos, who has been collecting this series from the first issue. I'm sure I am not alone in realizing there are two groups of CDs in the collection; a majority which one listens to again and again and a (thankfully small!) minority where one listening is usually enough!
I'm glad to say that this new CD, number 60 in the series, is truly in the majority. It arrived only three days ago, yet has already been played several times.
Now to the CD review itself. It consists of three works for piano and orchestra by the French composer, Théodore Dubois (1837-1924). He is roughly contemporaneous with his compatriots Saint-Saëns and Pierné, who have featured already in this series (numbers 27 and 34 resp.) The music has certain similarities.
The first work is the Concerto-capriccioso, a kind of Konzertstück. This is a one movement work in three contrasted sections. It opens with a piano solo before the orchestra enters. It is melodious and the orchestral music accompany the piano beautifully.
The main work is the 2nd piano concerto in F minor. This is in four movements. The concertos of Saint-Saëns come to mind in passages of this work. Again the music abounds with melodious writing, delightful interaction between piano and orchestra. The first movement is the most substantial. The virtuosic cadenza marking the opening of the final movement is wonderful.
The last work is called Suite for piano and string orchestra; again in the key of F minor. This also has four contrasting movements. The work begins slowly and soberly, before the piano develops into more overtly virtuosic writing. It is also most enjoyable. The music of Pierné and also another French composer, Benjamin Godard, come to mind in this music.
The pianist is Cédric Tiberghien, whose technique in these energetic works is admirable. He plays with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted my Andrew Manze. The recorded sound is what we have come to take for granted with this label. Of the highest order with a natural balance between the solo instrument and orchestra.
I have no hesitation in recommending this latest CD in the series; both to those who buy occasionally from it and to those who, like myself, cannot resist every new release!