The First Piano Concerto, like its successor, is in three movements, the first of which rocks and sways with dissonance. By contrast the second ('Slow Blues') is candidly bluesy - a questing dream in aquamarine. It tends towards the woozily disorientating. The finale sends sparks and shudders in all directions but at its centre there is some very inward-speaking music. It's all recorded with attractive directness in a superb hall.
Francis Shaw has every reason to thank Martin Jones, the orchestra and the conductor. I cannot imagine this music being presented with greater skill or more persuasively. Even so this, for me, is not the most commanding entry in Lyrita's illustrious and compellingly attractive catalogue.
It's all most attentively played and superbly recorded. Lyrita admirers, understandably legion, will want this. Francis Shaw will have his enthusiasts - and I would like to hear more. Rob Barnett, Musicweb-international