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Geraint Lewis
Gramophone, April 2016

THE SPECIALIST’S GUIDE TO…British piano concertos

Born in 1905, Alan Rawsthorne was of the same generation as Walton, Tippett and Britten, and for much of his life enjoyed considerable success and a high profile. But his present obscurity is hardly merited and though a full-scale revival is unlikely this magnificent recording in Peter Donohoe’s heroic series of forgotten British piano concertos brings back to life a Festival of Britain score brimming with vital ideas and effervescent writing with a ‘proper-tune’ finale. © 2016 Gramophone

Penguin Guide, January 2009

In the new Naxos recording Peter Donohoe presents the first movement in an effervescent scherzando style, and in the Chaconne the dialogue between piano and orchestra has an engaging delicacy. The Tarantella finale is infectiously spirited, and Donohoe’s brilliant solo contribution has all the sparkle you could want. In the Second Concerto the opening surge of ardour, from soloist and orchestra alike, carries the music forward, while again there is some delightful woodwind detail. In the finale Rawsthorne almost immediately introduces his catchy main theme, which is in a two-four/three-eight metre, and the movement as a whole is played with gusto and wit, producing a blaze of virtuosity at the close. The orchestral Improvisations which come as a bonus, are based on a seven-note theme from Lambert’s last ballet, Tiresias. They are widely varied and listener-friendly and easy to follow. With excellent recording, this can be strongly recommended on all accounts.

R.D., July 2003

"Both of Rawsthorne's piano concerti display abundant compositional craft and a range of well-bred, well-schooled emotion from sadness to wit with tongue-in-cheek...One hears the music of a gentleman, ideally served I daresay by Peter Donohoe, accompanied hand-in-glove by Takuo Yuasa and the Ulster Orchestra of Belfast (of which he has been principal guest conductor...[an] excellently recorded disc."

Raymond Tuttle
Classical Net, June 2003

"Good, modern recordings of these works were needed, and these are excellent...Donohoe is a strong player, and he is well up to the technical challenges posed by these three works."

Ivan March
Gramophone, May 2003

"Certainly this Naxos disc can be strongly recommended, and especially to those who have not yet before encountered Rawsthorne's always rewarding music."

Matthew Rye
The Telegraph, April 2003

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