- Piano Concerto No.1, "The Song of Gwyn ap Nudd"
- Piano concerto in D minor
The work of two English composers is featured on the 23rd volume of Hyperion's admirable Romantic Piano Concerto series: the early (and eminently serious) Piano Concerto in D minor by a future master of English "light" music, Haydn Wood, and the First Piano Concerto by Joseph Holbrooke. The latter, a gifted composer of working-class stock, earned the nickname "The Cockney Wagner" in the early decades of the 20th century. While the Wood is a lush, tuneful, professionally turned out late-Romantic concerto in the Grieg/Tchaikovsky/Rachmaninov mold, the Holbrooke is something more. This highly unusual fusion of piano concerto and narrative symphonic poem follows the events of a Welsh legend -- retold in a modern English version by Holbrooke's patron Lord Howard de Walden -- called The Song of Gwyn ap Nudd. The result is a big, stirring, hugely entertaining work, made all the more so by Hyperion's shrewd decision not only to include the full text of de Walden's poem, but also to give index numbers indicating where a particular verse appears in the score. As with other installments in this invaluable series, the performances by pianist Hamish Milne and the BBC Scottish Symphony conducted by Martyn Brabbins are impeccable, as is Hyperion's documentation and recorded sound.