A lucid rediscovering of Goetz and Wieniawski

Jane Jones welcomes a collection of forgotten composers Goetz and Wieniawski from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Composer: Goetz, Wieniawski 
Repertoire: Piano Concertos 
Artists: Hamish Milne (pf), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Michal Dworzynski
Rating: 3/5
Label: Hyperion CDA 67791

The Music More evidence from Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concertos series that there’s still much to discover from composers who were either overshadowed during their lifetimes, neglected after death – or both. Hermann Goetz delivers generous helpings of melodic warmth with his virtuosic passages, whilst Jósef Wieniawski is all about showcasing the brilliance of the pianist’s technique. 

The Performance Both composers trace their musical links back to Chopin and Liszt, making it easy to dismiss their music as ‘homage’ but Hamish Milne’s distinctive playing of great clarity and sensitivity invests both these concertos with a characteristic of their own. The opening movement from Goetz dances along with the most memorable of the concerto’s song-like melodies, played with a flowing lucidity. Wieniawski’s concerto requires the orchestra to accompany the soloist’s displays of brilliance, which they do with good grace, adding the perfect balance to the drama. 

The Verdict Another success for this long running series of discoveries, and a thoughtful combination of works. It’s easy to get seduced by the showiness of Wieniawski’s tour de force but Goetz’s lovely melodies are more memorable. 

Want More? For Liszt fans, try the music of his best known pupil Emil von Sauer – another Hyperion discovery (CDA 66790) or for something more Slavic, concertos by Ernö Dohnányi (CDA 66684).