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!
»Another hugely enjoyable release of Scottish music from Hyperion« (The Scotsman)
»A super disc« (Gramophone)
»What a bonanza this Hyperion offering is! If you fancy piano concertos you'll find plenty in these two neglected specimens to challenge and enchant you« (Fanfare, USA)
»A marvellous and magnificent disc« (Hi Fi News)
»A fascinating release. The whole enterprise could hardly wish for a more eloquent or dashingly persuasive exponent than Steven Osborne, who clearly believes in every note« (Piano International)
P. Cosse in Klassik heute 2/99: »Die Konzerte von Donald Tovey und Alexander Campbell Mackenzie dokumentieren schottische Musik- und Kulturgeschichte, stehen für hohes kompositorisches (spätromantisches) Ethos und geben über den Umweg ihrer Entstehungs- und Wiedergabegeschichte(n) interessante Einblicke in eine Musikszene, von der wir nur wenig wissen.«