Howard Shelley (piano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (conductor)
The Romantic Piano Concerto series reaches Volume 61, and continues to probe into the obscurest depths of the nineteenth-century piano world. Döhler’s Piano Concerto in A major and Dreyschock’s Salut à Vienne are both first recordings. The two composer-pianists were contemporaries, both child prodigies and both hugely admired in their day. Today their names are not even faintly familiar to concert-goers.
Döhler’s Concerto is pure entertainment: a lavishly ornamented virtuoso confection that requires a high-wire act from the soloist from start to finish. Dreyschock’s Morceau de concert, Op 27, is dedicated to the Philharmonic Society of London. It opens with a Beethovenian declamation—and indeed throughout the piece there are allusions to several Beethoven works, notably the ‘Appassionata’ Sonata. Salut à Vienne is a lighthearted but highly effective showpiece.
These all-but-forgotten works live again through the stylish artistry and technical brilliance of Howard Shelley, who is both soloist and conductor of his long-term collaborators, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.