For more than a century, it was thought that Polish pianist-composer Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925) composed only one piano concerto, the popular showpiece in E major. Now it has a companion, the impressive B minor concerto composed in 1874. With four movements and playing for 54 minutes, it was for a time the world's longest piano concerto, outlasting even Brahms' Second Concerto.
The piece dedicated to Franz Liszt premiered in 1875 (Berlin), was rediscovered in 2008 (Paris) and heard again in 2014 (Warsaw).
It opens with strains of seriousness and foreboding, but gradually relents as Moszkowski's penchant for charm and congeniality takes over. For a then-young composer, there are pages of overstatement, but it makes up with confidence, exuberance and scintillating play.
Bulgarian pianist Ludmil Angelov, who reintroduced the work to modern audiences, gives a totally convincing premiere recording that should win it new friends.
He does the same for the Russian Rhapsody by Adolf Schulz-Evler, composer of the notorious finger-buster Arabesques On The Beautiful Blue Danube. For those tired of the umpteenth Rachmaninoff piano concerto recording, here is the much needed tonic.
Chang Tou Liang
MOSZKOWSKI PIANO CONCERTO IN B MINOR
Ludmil Angelov, piano
BBC Scottish Symphony/ Vladimir Kiradjiev
Hyperion 68109/4.5/5 stars