York Bowen (1884-1961) was an English composer-pianist of the highest order whose work is now being reappraised both on record and in concert.
Piano Concerto No 3 is a vigorous one-movement work with three well-defined sections of varying tempos in Fantasia style. Bowen’s sparkling performances of it drew plaudits from contemporary critics, who hailed it as his best composition thus far.
The Piano Concerto No 4 (said by Sorabji to be the greatest work for piano and orchestra ever written by an Englishman) is a large-scale Romantic, virtuoso work, impressionistic solo passages alternating freely with Straussian orchestral textures throughout. Bowen considered the work his best composition for the piano and an important addition to the concerto literature.
Danny Driver is partnered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Martyn Brabbins in this recording.