SELIM PALMGREN (1878-1951): Piano Concertos No. 4, Op. 85 “April” and No, 5, Op. 99, A Pastorale in Three Scenes, Op. 50, Exotic March.

Catalogue Number: 01T003

Label: Alba

Reference: ABCD 400

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $18.98

Description: In September of 2016, we offered the first volume of what we called “Palmgren’s condensed version of “The Romantic Piano Concerto”’. Like the first three, the fourth is in single-movement form, this time lasting 19 minutes. Exuding the bright, chilly joy of a Finnish early spring, it contains elements of impressionism, late Romanticism and neo-Classicism. The Fifth is the composer’s only multi-movement (the usual three) concerto and, at just under 25 minutes, is the longest of them all only by a bit. Written in Helsinki in 1940-41 it does away with all but a simplified late Romanticism with a triumphal first movement, simple songlike slow one and a resolute finale with march elements; Sibelius heard its radio premiere and told Palmgren that it was the best thing he had ever written. New to disc is the 14-minute Pastorale whose warm lyricism and hints of Finnish folk music bely its creation in the midst of the Finnish Civl War in 1918. Janne Mertanen (piano), Pori Sinfonietta; Jan Söderblom.

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