Huss & Schelling: Piano Concertos

Huss & Schelling: Piano Concertos

Ian Hobson (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)


It is all-but forgotten that before the arrival of those composers whom we now think of as quintessentially American (from Ives onwards) there was thriving group composing in the USA who had studied in Europe and transferred its traditions to their homeland. It is to this school that Huss and Schelling belong.

The Huss Concerto is written on the grandest scale and makes great virtuoso demands on the performer (think of it as an American 'Brahms' concerto). Its lack of success is perhaps partly due to the mediocre pianistic talents of the composer; though he did play the work these performances were apparently sad occasions!

As befits its title, the Schelling 'Suite' is most more light-weight (think of Moszkowski or Paderewski, the latter a great friend of Schelling). It was written to charm and entertain. The Finale is particularly memorable, being a pot-pourri of American themes—Dixie, Way down upon the Swanee River, and Yankee Doodle.

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