HENNING MANKELL (1868-1930): Piano Concerto, Op. 30 , GÖSTA NYSTROEM (1890-1966): Concerto Ricercante for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (World Premiere Recordings).
Catalogue Number: 08R003
Description: Six years ago, we got a two-disc set of Swedish composer Mankell’s solo piano works (05K007) which we described as “a fascinating combination of French Impressionism (with a feeling for the stillness of nature and contemplation of time which you get in Koechlin's Heures persanes), Franck and Liszt”. These were all late works from 1922-30 while this concerto, from 1917, is rather different: a big (36 minutes), three-movement work in the good old-fashioned style of late European Romanticism with the most obvious similarity to the solo works being an unhurried willingness to take its time, going with the flow of inward, lyrical emotions with only the scherzo-ish finale concerned with gestures of a more brilliant and foot-tapping virtuosity. As different from the run-of-the-mill though as his solo pieces. Nystroem’s concerto is much later (1959), a single-movement piece of 25 minutes in three sections: an allegro energico with strong dynamics and large gestures with a rather percussive role for the soloist, an adagio which is colored by a harp and celesta, and an allegro scherzando which alternates a brisk scherzo with a gentle, chromatic waltz. No Nystroem fan can afford to be without it! Anna Christensson (piano), Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Roberto Paternostro.