'I think many listeners will agree with me that this is the most finely realised and ravishingly beautiful Schumann Concert to have come for a long time... Both performances are on a high level, distinguished by the singularity of intent possible with the conductor as soloist, but without doubt, it's the Schumann Concerto that steals the show. On the basis of its virtues alone this recording must be very highly recommended.' International Record Review
'Here's something that's well worth pointing out: a modern version of Schumann's Piano Concerto that actually sounds like Schumann. Howard Shelley's performance is refreshingly free from empty showmanship or narcissistic ‘pianism'. It uncovers nervous volatility, refined tenderness and dreamy lateral thinking associated with great solo piano works... without for a moment sounding contentious or didactic... The Grieg and Saint-Saëns are also full of lovely things, especially the slow movement of the Grieg - this music can touch without being the slightest bit sentimental or oversweet.' BBC Music Magazine
Pianist and conductor, Howard Shelley presents a fast-tempo, powerfully upbeat combination of the works of Schumann, Grieg and Saint-Saëns.
Drawing on a lifetime of experience as both pianist and conductor, he presents a lively and modern interpretation of these well known and loved piano concertos. Shelley's interpretation is dramatic, powerful and intense and each of these recordings is filled with a rich sense of warmth and depth.
Howard Shelley - piano
Opera North Orchestra
Rachel Smith - producer
Sound Engineer/s - Ralph Couzens and Jonathon Cooper (assistant)
Recorded in Victoria Hall, Leeds Town Hall on the 4th and 5th of July 2008