The Berkeley Edition, Volume 5
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Howard Shelley piano, Catherine Wyn Rogers alto
Lennox Berkeley's Piano Concerto of 1947 is a real find, lyrical and spiky by turns and played here with feeling a lucidity. [The] Four Poems of St Teresa of Avila, originally written for Kathleen Ferrier, is a short cycle shot through with religious intensity. A welcome addition to the Berkeleys' discography.
Matthew Rye, BBC Music Magazine, 1/1/2005
The two works by Lennox Berkeley were premiered in 1948, a vintage period for him, and both are masterpieces. The Four Poems of St Teresa, typical of his religious sources of inspiration, were initially associated with the incomparable sound of Kathleen Ferrier but the noble radiance of Catherine Wyn-Rogers is ideal and the new recording eclipses all predecessors. The Piano Concerto also receives an impeccable performance thanks to the superlative musicianship of Howard Shelley and Richard Hickox who both understand the music completely. In the new recording the faster music consistently sparkles and the rapt slow movement is as spiritual as the St Teresa poems. The tunes are memorable, the scoring Mozartian, and it is incomprehensible that this outstanding British piano concerto has not become a repertoire standard.
Peter Dickinson, Gramophone, 2/1/2005
We have long needed a good modern recording of one of his best-loved works, the Four Poems of St Teresa of Ávila, and here it is at last. Catherine Wyn-Rogers has exemplary diction and a modern mezzo sound. Likewise, Howard Shelley's fleet-fingered performance of the Piano Concerto is certain to find new friends for the composer.
Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review, 2/1/2005