Peter Donohoe (piano), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Litton (conductor)
The Scherzo from Litolff's Fourth Concerto has long been a Classical lollipop; now find out what the rest sounds like …
Litolff was one of the great virtuosi of the nineteenth century. His five Concertos Symphoniques (the first of which is now unfortunately lost) were of major influence in the transition from the Classically-derived concertos of Hummel, Moscheles and Chopin to the more symphonic late-Romantic concertos. He pioneered the use of a four-movement structure which included a Scherzo (as in Brahms's Second Concerto) and gave the orchestra much more of the thematic material. Indeed, although the piano writing is very brilliant, much of it is accompanimental. The Second Concerto is a real rarity, the orchestral parts proving very hard to locate. This is probably its first performance in over 130 years.