| Piano Concerto No. 2 | Howard Shelley/Tas Sym. Orchestra | Hyperion CDA68100
This is the third volume from Hyperion devoted to the piano concertos of Henri Herz (1803– 1888), who spent his long life touring the world as a highly successful virtuoso pianist but was thought by some to be superficial. Robert Schumann called him a stenographer rather than a composer, and wrote his Phantasie Satyrique (nach Henri Herz) to poke fun at what he perceived as worthless playing. A lot of Herz’s writing for piano is fiendishly difficult and highly delicate, more filigree than barn-storming keyboardbashing, requiring sensitive handling. Howard Shelley shows all this off very successfully indeed, the light and bright-toned piano making the rapid, lithe passagework crystal-clear, especially heard through the 24-bit download. The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra contributes a lean clear sound in a credible concerthall balance, all captured in fine sound. Bravo!