Album: Britten, Piano Concerto/Young Apollo/Diversions – BBC SSO/Volkov/Osborne (Hyperion)

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All three works in this collaboration between Ilan Volkov, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and pianist Steven Osborne date from 1938 to 1940.

Ravel-like in its hyper-sensual waltz and indebted to Prokofiev in its sparkling toccata and neurotic march, the Piano Concerto was premiered the year before Britten left England for America. "Young Apollo" seems the more juvenile work, despite Osborne's élan and the engaging orchestral performance. More satisfying is "Diversions", a concerto for orchestra and left hand that hints at the melancholic maturity already present in Britten's early vocal writing.

Pick of the Album: The operatic pomp of 'Diversions'