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British Piano Concertos 2

Lyrita releases British Piano Concertos Volume 2 with Simon Callaghan and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (SRCD 416) on 4 September 2023, with three world première recordings of works by John Addison, Gordon Jacob and Edmund Rubbra. The album is conducted by Stephen Bell and George Vass.

Gordon Jacob’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat was completed in 1957 and premièred on 11 July of that year at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth with soloist Edith Vogel. A Proms performance took place at London's Royal Albert Hall on 9 August 1957 with the same soloist. A review in The Times of the 1957 Proms performance declared that ‘the composer’s masterly understanding of the orchestra enables him to express each idea economically and in the most clean and attractive colours’, while The Sunday Times’s critic wrote that ‘having taught the craft of orchestration to a whole generation of composers, Dr. Jacob is himself a past master at clear and effective scoring’.

Though the piano had played a prominent role in an earlier student piece by Rubbra, his Piano Concerto, Op.30 (1932) is the composer’s first fully-fledged, large-scale work for soloist and orchestra. The score features an elaborate solo part and requires substantial orchestral forces.

Addison’s Variations for Piano and Orchestra was written in 1948 and revised the following year. According to Alan Poulton’s Dictionary-Catalog of Modern British Composers, It was first performed in a BBC broadcast in 1960 by Margaret Kitchin. The work is written for a small orchestra, comprising double woodwinds, four horns, a pair each of trumpets and trombones, bass trombone, timpani, modest percussion and strings.

John AddisonVariations for piano & orchestra
Gordon JacobConcerto No. 2
RubbraConcerto in A minor, Op. 30
SRCD 416 Cover