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Simon Callaghan|British Piano Concertos

British Piano Concertos

Simon Callaghan, The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Martyn Brabbins

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Smaller concertos for piano and modest orchestral forces were a feature of British composition in the first half of the 20th century. Often they were written for a special occasion, and typically vanished into oblivion thereafter. During the Covid period we were looking for things to record with small numbers of players, and stumbled across this treasury: short concertos written for entertainment that don’t outstay their welcome.

The works on this album travel from the innocent pastiche of Geoffrey Bush’s tribute to Arne, Edmund Rubbra’s student essay, through the Blues of Arthur Benjamin, the serial language of Humphrey Searle, the drama of Elizabeth Maconchy, and the bold humour of film composer John Addison. It is all great fun, and has never been recorded - apart from the Benjamin recorded just once, back in 1959.

Simon Callaghan and Martyn Brabbins team-up to raise a smile, enjoying the lighter side of musical life. © Lyrita

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British Piano Concertos

Simon Callaghan

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Wellington Suite (John Addison)

1
I. Allegretto con brio
00:01:48

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - John Addison, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

2
II. Andante, un poco pomposo
00:04:12

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - John Addison, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

3
III Allegro vivace
00:03:09

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - John Addison, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

4
IV. Moderato, tempo di valse
00:04:40

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - John Addison, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

5
V. Allegro con brio
00:03:29

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - John Addison, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

Concertino for Piano & Orchestra (Arthur Benjamin)

6
I. Allegro non troppo e ritmico
00:02:05

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Arthur Benjamin, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

7
II. Andante poco lento
00:04:33

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Arthur Benjamin, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

8
III. Scherzo. Presto scherzando
00:03:55

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Arthur Benjamin, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

9
IV. Come primo ma meno allegro
00:04:12

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Arthur Benjamin, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

Concertino No. 2 for Piano & String Orchestra (Dame Elisabeth Maconchy)

10
I. Allegro molto
00:03:59

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Elizabeth Maconchy, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

11
II. Lento, serioso
00:05:00

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Elizabeth Maconchy, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

12
III. Allegro con brio
00:03:14

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Elizabeth Maconchy, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

Concertante for Piano, Percussion & Strings, Op. 24 (Humphrey Searle)

13
Concertante for Piano, Percussion & Strings, Op. 24
00:04:11

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Humphrey Searle, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

Nature's Song (Reconstr. S. Callaghan) (Edmund Rubbra)

14
Nature's Song (Reconstr. S. Callaghan)
00:09:39

Edmund RUBBRA, Composer - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

A Little Concerto on Themes of Thomas Arne (Geoffrey Bush)

15
I. Andante
00:04:37

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Geoffrey Bush, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

16
II. Allegro
00:01:28

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Geoffrey Bush, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

17
III. Siciliano
00:02:05

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Geoffrey Bush, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

18
IV. Vivace
00:02:07

Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Geoffrey Bush, Composer - The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Callaghan, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Lyrita (P) 2022 Lyrita

Album review

Smaller concertos for piano and modest orchestral forces were a feature of British composition in the first half of the 20th century. Often they were written for a special occasion, and typically vanished into oblivion thereafter. During the Covid period we were looking for things to record with small numbers of players, and stumbled across this treasury: short concertos written for entertainment that don’t outstay their welcome.

The works on this album travel from the innocent pastiche of Geoffrey Bush’s tribute to Arne, Edmund Rubbra’s student essay, through the Blues of Arthur Benjamin, the serial language of Humphrey Searle, the drama of Elizabeth Maconchy, and the bold humour of film composer John Addison. It is all great fun, and has never been recorded - apart from the Benjamin recorded just once, back in 1959.

Simon Callaghan and Martyn Brabbins team-up to raise a smile, enjoying the lighter side of musical life. © Lyrita

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