Guy Weatherall

Nenov: Piano Concerto; Ballade for piano & orchestra

8:00, 23rd August 2017

Ivo Varbanov (pf), Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Emil Tabakov
Hyperion CDA68205

Condemned to professional and posthumous obscurity by the communist regime in his country, this Bulgarian pianist-composer (and some-time architect) died in 1953, the same year as Prokofiev. If he perhaps shares a similar sound world with his Soviet counterpart, his 1936 concerto is a monumental one-off. Unpublished and here receiving its first recording, it seems to span the whole range of early 20th-century pianism. It manages to remain fresh and individual even if the very breadth of influences makes it sound more sprawling than it actually is. Dedicated, definitive performances and excellent sound.

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