'Shelley proves a marvellously stylish, involving exponent and is backed to the hilt by Brabbins and the BBC NOW. Chandos's sound and balance, too, are beyond reproach.' Gramophone
'The admirable soloist Howard Shelley...seems utterly attuned to the whole work, both to its percussive aspects and to its delicate filigree writing.' International Record Review
The previous volume in this series earned a Rosette in the latest Penguin Guide to Recorded Music and was Critics' Choice in the December 2009 edition of Gramophone.
Living up to these high standards, Volume 3 includes Leighton's incredible successful First Symphony which was written in 1964 and won first prize in the 1965 City of Trieste International Competition for new symphonic work. The British premiere of this symphony took place in 1967, played by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Charles Groves. In three movements, this is the only of Leighton's symphonies to employ entirely orchestral technique and moves seamlessly from the elegant and poetic, through a strong protest, ultimately charging freely toward the finale.
Leighton's Third Piano Concerto was written in 1968 after he succeeded Edmund Rubbra as a fellow of Worcester College, Oxford. This piano concerto is distinctly more warm, lyrical and tonal than his previous piano works and provides a lovely contrast still characteristic of the composer's own style.
Howard Shelley and Martyn Brabbins are both internationally renowned in their respective fields, having received awards and unanimous critical acclaim for their recordings.
Piano: Howard Shelley
Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
Procucer/s: Brian Pidgeon
Sound engineer/s: Ralph Couzens, Jonathon Cooper (assistant)
Recorded in: BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales 14-15 December 2009