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Intriguing programming, but perhaps not enough character here from Emmanuel Despax to follow it through. Despite his sterling technique, Despax’s Saint-Saëns pales in comparison with Hough (Hyperion); neither is the Orpheus Sinfonia of the first rank. The result is that the famous Allegro scherzando fails to sparkle. The Stephen Goss Piano Concerto, premiered in 2013, was inspired by the work of the designer Thomas Heatherwick and written for Despax. The style of writing is in stark contrast to the Saint-Saëns; the piano part is almost concertante. Goss’s textural imagination is clearly fine, but the impression remains that inspiration lies at a remove. The underpowered orchestra that opens the Franck is misleading, as this is the most successful performance, although even here Despax cedes to the likes of Bolet and Cortot.

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