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Over the last few years, the Hyperion label has done great things to champion rarely-heard composers as part of their Romantic Piano Concertos series.
Now we’ve reached Volume 48, which features the music of the almost forgotten composers Julius Benedict - a London-based composer - and Walter Macfarren – brother of better-known George - and one of the first pupils to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
Sir Julius Benedict was born in Germany, but settled in London in 1835, having already established a career as composer and pianist on the continent. He arrived in London at a time when the city was still highly regarded as the pianistic centre of Europe and was soon performing his two concertinos in A flat and E flat, the latter work later being expanded into the Piano Concert in E flat major as featured on this CD. Benedict's work is much in the tradition of Hummel, of whom Benedict was a pupil, and combine brilliant virtuosity with an easy lyricism.
Walter Macfarren's music is very much in the style of Mendelssohn and his Concertstück proves to be a very attractive work which could easily pass as one by the greater master himself.
Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra bring these concertos to life in this remarkable Concerto Series.
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