For July’s LimelightRecording of the Month Piers Lane has recorded rare piano concertos by Arthur Bliss and Edmund Rubbra for Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series. He talks to Clive Paget about their merits, their challenges, and why once recognised masterpieces can grow to be underestimated and neglected.
Piers Lane. Photo © Keith Saunders
Bliss’s Piano Concerto has been recorded before, but only one since the 1950s. How did you come to know it and why record it now?
I knew the piece since childhood because my father loved it. I remember when I was asked to do it for the Proms centenary in 1991 and Dad managed to hook up some aerial so he could hear the live performance on BBC Radio 3. That must have been a special moment for him. Before that I’d played it in Cape Town under Elyakum Shapirra – remember him? He conducted the Queensland Symphony and was chief conductor of the South Australian Orchestra for a long time. I’d played it in Dublin and I even played it in a huge park in London. I was surprised, but it worked amazingly in...