Pianist Ludmil Angelov offers convincing reading of composer Moritz Moszkowski's lost work

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

  • OBSCURE CLASSICS

  • MOSZKOWSKI PIANO CONCERTO IN B MINOR

    Ludmil Angelov, piano

    BBC Scottish Symphony/ Vladimir Kiradjiev

    Hyperion 68109/4.5/5 stars

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'Hot Tracks'. Print Edition | Subscribe