Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Ferguson, Finzi, Austin & Rawsthorne
Music for Piano and Orchestra

Howard Ferguson Piano Concerto;
Gerald Finzi ‘Eclogue’ Op. 10;
Frederick Austin, Piano Concertino (Ed. David Ellis)*;
Alan Rawsthorne Piano Concerto No. 1 (original version)*

Mark Bebbington, Piano/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/ Howard Williams, Conductor
*Premiere Recordings


It was the Rawsthorne which caught my eye; a very characteristic work from the '30s with his distinctive harmonies and unmistakable personal voice. I am surprised that it hadn't been recorded before in this original version, which I tend to prefer to the later orchestration. Likewise Finzi's solemn piece's "untroubled serenity" (Rubbra) could be by no-one else.

Ferguson's concerto is not as individual as the Sonata championed by Myra Hess, and Austin's concertino didn't seem quite worth the effort of resurrection - he's best remembered for The Beggar's Opera long before Britten...

Pleased to have heard it; all well played and recorded, and should be considered by Rawsthorne fans.

Peter Grahame Woolf


Image - the young Rawsthorne, Oxford