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Piano Concerto; Paul Bunyan, Overture; Johnson Over Jordan (Suite)

Paul Bunyan, Op. 17: Overture (arr. C. Matthews)
London Symphony Orchestra

Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 13
Toccata Waltz Impromptu March
Recitative and Aria (original third movement)

Johnson Over Jordan (Suite) (arr. P. Hindmarsh)

Joanna MacGregor, piano
English Chamber Orchestra

Steuart Bedford, conductor

A welcome addition to the Britten/Bedford discography in the current catalogue, 1989/1990 recordings originally released by Collins Classics and rescued by Naxos. Most significant is the piano concerto, originally recorded by Richter, now in a sparkling account by Joanna MacGregor which has the additional interest of including (as a programmable alternative) the original third movement. It is a good resource in recent CDs to be offered composers' first thoughts (c.v. BIS Sibelius, 5th ymphony and violin concerto) and this Britten concerto sounds far less problematic now than in earlier times.

In Gramophone (1992) Arnold Whittal writes that Richter remains sovereign (there were two recordings by him issued, live and studio) alongside "Joanna MacGregor's cooler recording." Collins did not include that bonus extra, and it is good to have it now.

Well worth acquiring as a Naxos bargain.

© Peter Grahame Woolf