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A year after the tremendous success of the first volume of Krenek’s Piano Concertos (Nos 1 to 3; TOCC0323), which I reviewed last year, the concluding volume has now appeared with the same performers (and three additional soloists), featuring the Fourth and final Concerto of 1950, plus three double concertos partnering the piano with, respectively, an organ (1940), violin (1950) and a second piano (1951).

Krenek’s Fourth Concerto is the most traditional in format of all the concertos, the only one in the standard three movements – two short, vigorous Allegros enclosing a profound Molto adagioof considerable intensity. This slow movement is the heart of the work, taking almost half its length. The Fourth which, like Nos 1-3, fuses serial techniques with Viennese forms, is the largest of the works in Volume 2, with a running time of nearly 23 minutes.

Yet the other concerto couplings are no mere makeweights. Krenek’s compositional style grew more concentrated with time: the brevity of the concertos for violin and piano and two pianos reflects a distillation of means. The Little Concerto with organ, as its name implies, is of a lighter nature.

Once more, Mikhail Korzhev shows himself at one with Krenek’s music, capable of handling the most demanding writing – as are his soloist partners Huebner, Pacht and Partington. Woods draws exemplary accompaniments from the English Symphony Orchestra, all concerned with relishing the rediscovery of this forgotten titan. Terrific sound makes this a thoroughly recommendable disc for adventurous listeners.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2017 - ©Rhinegold Publishing