Artistic Quality 9 Sound Quality 9
"This program is simply delicious... As with other releases in this series, Howard Shelley plays Hummel with elegance and flair. Much of this music, particularly in the shorter concert works, is very brilliant and highly decorative, but Shelley never makes you feel as though it consists of empty note-spinning. The London Mozart Players accompany sensitively and with aplomb. A good time was clearly had by all, including the engineers, who provide vivid sonics."
David Hurwitz - classicstoday.com - March 2012
Certainly, if you have a taste for this music, you‘ll find this a welcome release
Shelley…is outstanding in this music, synthesizing the classical and romantic elements perfectly. A natural Mozartian, he allies his poise and clarity to a fearless technique, and absorbs Hummel’s most ostentatious demands into the musical fabric, giving the decorative solo part the necessary grace and piquancy.
Gramophone ‘Critics’ Choice’ of January 2000 on CHAN 9867 (Hummel)
Collectors of the series can rest assured that this latest volume fully sustains the high standard already set. Shelley couldn’t play a dull or ugly note if his life depended on it, so all those long-spun, mellifluous cantilenas flow with a meltingly lovely tone, and when the music begins to dance and goes into note-overdrive, he makes everything sound vital and compelling, never merely ‘notey’. Judging by the London Mozart Players’ devoted and foot-tappingly accurate playing throughout this series, Shelley is also no mean baton-waver. Recommended with the greatest enthusiasm.
Howard Shelley’s elegant disc with the LMP, which includes the premiere of the jaunty Le Retour à Londres, offers a fair survey of a composer caught between the disciplines of Classical style and the rebellion of Romanticism.
Independent on Sunday
All these pieces, plus the purely orchestral variations on the tune of ‘O du lieber Augustin’ (which curiously throws in a ‘Turkish’ percussion ensemble), are vividly performed by the London Mozart Players, while pianist Howard Shelley throws off Hummel’s copious cascades of notes with appropriate panache.
BBC Music Magazine
Howard Shelley has been systematically recording Hummel’s works for piano and orchestra for Chandos. Each one has been highly rated in these pages and this one is no different. The recording is superb, the notes are good, and the playing is outstanding.
American Record Guide
Shelley’s gifts of agility and articulation mean he can make such decorative writing a delight. Even if you might dismiss much of this as mere note spinning, Shelley’s sparkling playing is winning… As ever in this Chandos series, the first-rate recording is clear and vivid, warm and full.
…this heartlifting disc will delight more than just lovers of piano virtuosity