Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
If the name Friedrich Kalkbrenner is familiar at all, it’s probably for his famous suggestion that Chopin would benefit from three years of study with him (a bold offer the Pole wisely turned down). But, as Hyperion’s ever-expanding Romantic Piano Concerto series has repeatedly shown, received historical opinion and musical quality don’t always go hand in hand. With Volume 56 we reach the second and final instalment of Kalkbrenner’s concertos, dazzlingly played by Howard Shelley, directing the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from the keyboard. For all that Kalkbrenner wasn’t afraid to write big, bold orchestral introductions, it’s when the pianist makes his entry that you realize what a jawdropping player he must have been, with writing of such glittering, glistening panache that it must have had those polite salon ladies reaching for their smelling salts.