Steven Osborne (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Two first recordings of concertos by a Scot (Mackenzie) who settled in England as Principal of the Royal Academy of Music and an Englishman (Tovey) who settled in Scotland as a Professor at Edinburgh University's Reid School of Music.
Mackenzie's Scottish Concerto, premiered by no less a man than Paderewski in 1897, is a colourful and entertaining work which uses several Scottish themes in a fundamentally Lisztian design.
As befits the academic and scholarly Tovey, his concerto of 1903 is in a much more serious and Brahmsian vein, indeed the first movement in particular sounds uncannily like Brahms from beginning to end. The work is characterized by great rhythmic energy and superb, rich orchestration. Not just another piano concerto, but a major and unaccountably neglected symphonic work.
Please note the carefully chosen Mackenzie tartan featured as part of the cover design!