YORK BOWEN The complete 78rpm solo recordings
Compact Disc 1 (62.23)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No 4 in G major Op 58  with AEOLIAN ORCHESTRA conducted by STANLEY CHAPPLE

BACH Partita No 2 in C minor BWV826: Capriccio
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No 13 in E flat major Op 27 No 1: I.Andante;
Piano Sonata No 24 in F sharp major Op 78
SCHUMANN Faschingsschwank aus Wien Op 26: Allegro
LISZT Années de pèlerinage, première année – Suisse S160: Eglogue

MOSCHELES Etude Op 70 No 5
COCHRANE Le Ruisseau
BRAHMS Capriccio in B minor Op 76 No 2 
MENDELSSOHN Scherzo in E minor Op 16 No 2 

SCHÜTT Etude Mignonne in D major Op 16 No 1 

Compact Disc 2 (58.58)

CHOPIN Ballade No 3 in A flat major Op 47; Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor Op 31; Waltz in A flat major Op 34 No 1; Polonaise in C sharp minor Op 26 No 1; Etude in E minor Op 25 No 5; Twenty-Four Preludes Op 28: Nos.23, 20 & 3
RACHMANINOV Prelude Op 23 No 5 G minor; Polichinelle Op 3 No 4
DEBUSSY Estampes: Jardins sous la pluie; Arabesque No 2 in G major
GARDINER Five Pieces: III. London Bridge; V. Gavotte

BOWEN Suite No 2 Op 30: Finale ‘A Romp’; The Way to Polden, An Ambling Tune, Op 76; Arabesque Op 20 No 1; Fragments from Hans Andersen Op 58: Thumbelina; The Windmill  (with spoken introductions)

In recent years York Bowen, the composer, has enjoyed a spectacular revival, but until now his talents as pianist (barring a late recording of his own music for Lyrita) have not been heard since the days of 78s. At the height of his success, in the first decades of the 20th century, Bowen was as much known as pianist as composer and frequently performed at the Proms amongst other things.
His first recording, a very rare disc on the Marathon label, was released in 1915, but the bulk of his work was done for Vocalion; after they went bankrupt in 1927 he appears to have made no further 78s. Pride of place must go to Bowen’s Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto. This was the very first recording of the work and its neglect has been due to the fact that it was one of the last recordings to be made under the old acoustic process which was superseded the year the work was issued. Bowen’s pianism is extremely fluent and he plays his own cadenzas! Through all the featured works we hear a pianist who plays in the ‘grand manner’ and that, and his preference for romantic repertoire, reveal him as somewhat atypical of the English pianist of his time. Perhaps his nickname ‘the English Rachmaninov’ did indeed hit the nail on the head.