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The Hyperion label, which brought us the stellar ongoing series The Romantic Piano Concerto (of which recently released disc 85 will soon be added to my collection), The Romantic Violin Concerto (22 discs to date), and The Romantic Cello Concerto (7 discs to date), has more recently begun a new series titled The Classical Piano Concerto. Pianist/conductor Howard Shelley leads the charge for that series, though not too quickly, apparently. Currently there are 8 volumes available, featuring works by Dussek, Steibelt, Clementi, Kozeluch, Cramer, and W.A.Mozart's son Franz Xaver. As the ads say: "the ‘Classical Piano Concerto’ focuses on the lesser-known concertos from the dawn of the genre. Between about 1770 and 1820 — the high classical period dominated by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven ..." Those interested in piano concerti of that era might want to look into these discs.

I have so far not purchased a single one of the Classical Piano Concerto series. Having just recently added the 85th volume of the Romantic Piano Concerto series to my collection (I have the entire set) and having also invested in the complete Hyperion Romantic Violin and Romantic Cello sets, which, thankfully, have not gone to the lengths of The Romantic Piano Concerto, yet, I held off jumping into another deep lake. Besides, I am less a fan of "the classical era" than I am of "the Romantic period", and I already have quite a few of the stellar achievements in piano concertos written between 1770 and 1820, so, barring any desire to add another disc library room onto my house, I decided to hold off on that newest Hyperion series. But that shouldn't stop you from investing in it.

It's good to know that record labels, musicians, conductors and orchestras are willing to extend their talents into lesser known music, outing it for public audition. The least we who love music can do is show some support for these brave folk who tread the less commercially successful back alleys of musical production. After all, the various Hyperion series, though not totally successful perhaps, have unearthed several fine gems well worth hearing -- music that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, and unheard. Perhaps some one of you out there will pick up the slack where I've left off and begin a collection of The Classical Piano Concerto. Hey -- it will take years to get up to disc 85 in that collection, so you should have time to put away a few bucks of spare change for the ride. In the meantime, I'll keep adding to those three series I have already invested in, but it's encouraging to me, at least, to realize that I am not yet fully demented by the insanity of this musical hobby of collecting classical recordings. I still can breathe. And, I like the current dimensions of my house as it now stands.
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