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Liszt: Piano Sonata

Liszt: Piano Sonata

& other works


Piano Sonata in B minor, S178

Sonetto 47 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 4)

Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 5)

Sonetto 123 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 6)

Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi sonata (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 7)

Angela Hewitt’s notes for this important new album describe a teenager’s moment of revelation when she first came to appreciate the epic masterpiece that is the Liszt Piano Sonata. Here we have a heart-felt recording where this palpable sense of wonder is manifest alongside Hewitt’s enthralling technical facility at the keyboard.

The programme is completed by the second half of Liszt’s dazzling second Année de pèlerinage collection: the three Petrarch Sonnets and the noble Dante Sonata, the latter composed as a fund-raiser for the Bonn Beethoven monument in 1839.

“Hewitt’s Liszt interpretations are both exquisite and dramatic, at once finely thought-out and exalting. From the first bar, the Sonata is invested with a freshness...Wise long pauses are left between items, time in which to forget every music you ever knew.” Sunday Times, 8th February 2015

“Hewitt has a refreshing attitude to Liszt...Virtuosity is only the start [of the Dante Sonata]. Here, in the B minor sonata and in the three youthful Petrarch Sonnets, Hewitt is magisterial. For many years Bach has been her calling card. Her Liszt is, if anything, yet more compelling.” The Observer, 1st February 2015 ****

“Elegant and immaculate in both musicianship and platform wardrobe, the pianist Angela Hewitt doesn’t immediately rush to mind when considering the wild music of Liszt...Even if her approach sometimes rubs against the music’s grain, the poise and clarity of her textures and phrasings still brings major pleasures.” The Times, 6th February 2015 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68067


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Ēriks Ešenvalds: Northern Lights

Ēriks Ešenvalds: Northern Lights

& other choral works


O salutaris Hostia

with Rachel Ambrose Evans (soprano), Hannah Partridge (soprano)

The new moon

Psalm 67

with Michael Craddock (bass)

Trinity Te Deum

with Sally Pryce (harp)

Trinity Brass

Northern Lights

with Jamie Roberts (tenor)

The heavens' flock

The earthly rose

with Sally Pryce (harp)

Magnificat, Nunc dimittis (Merton College Service)

with Hannah King (soprano)

Rivers of light

with Hannah King (soprano), Jonathan Pacey (bass), Zane Šmite (jaw harp)

Ubi caritas

Amazing grace

with Anna Cavaliero (mezzo-soprano)

O Emmanuel

with Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano)

Who can sail without the wind?

with Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano), Hiroshi Amako (tenor), Sally Pryce (harp)


Only in sleep

with Rachel Ambrose Evans (soprano)

The intensely practical choral music of the young Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds is steadily gaining appreciation across the world. The works on this new album owe their genesis to commissions from the United States, England and northern Europe and encompass ethereal expressions of uniquely arctic phenomena (listen for wine glasses turned—and tuned—to wondrously simple but devastating effect within the choral texture), American ballads and several works in the ‘Anglican tradition’, the fruits of the composer’s recent residency at Trinity College Cambridge.

Trinity College Choir Cambridge here returns the compliment, as it were, with superlative performances of these varied and engaging works, all recorded under the watchful eye of the composer and conductor Stephen Layton.

“His rich, sonorous choral writing is in almost permanent ecstasy...that, when packed into one album of 16 varied items, is too ravishing to cope with. It’s all beautifully sung, but the sheer quantity of the material diminishes each work’s individual impact.” The Observer, 25th January 2015 ***

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68083


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Guillaume de Machaut : The dart of love

Guillaume de Machaut : The dart of love

Grant, Denis Le:

Se je chant mains que ne suelh


Il m'est avis qu'il n'est dons de Nature, B22

Se vous n'estes pour mon guerredon nee

Amour et biaute/Quant en moy voint/Amara valde, M1

S'Amours tous amans joir/S'il estoit nulz qui pleindre/Et gaudebit cor vestrum, M6

Phyton, le mervilleus serpent, B38

Ay mi! dame de valour

Se j'aim mon loyal ami/Lasse! comment oublieray/Pour quoy me bat mes matris?, M16

Pour ce que tous mes chans fais

Helas, tant ay doleur et peinne

Sans cuer, dolens, R4

Fins cuers doulz/Dame, je sui cilz/Fins cuers doulz, M11

Rose, liz, printemps

Western music as we know it today—many individual lines of whatever nature combining in whatever manner into a single whole—has its roots in the fourteenth century, and most famously in the pioneering works of Guillaume de Machaut. Why he chose to set his remarkable poetry to music in this way we may never know, but the results continue to hold those who hear it enraptured.

Few groups have matched The Orlando Consort—formed in 1988 specifically to explore this repertoire—in capturing and recording the essence of Machaut. This is the second volume in their Machaut Edition for Hyperion.

“The second anthology in the Orlando Consort’s Machaut marathon…[is] characterised by supreme text- sensitivity and beauty of tone. One marvels at their trademark exquisite balance and their ability to reveal even the most complex of Machaut’s structures with enviable agreement and ensemble.” Early Music Today

“Machaut, in the skilled hands of these musicians, turns these brutalities into music of ethereal purity, pulsating with poised, almost jaunty rhythms. Music for quiet concentration.” The Observer, 25th January 2015 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68008


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The Romantic Cello Concerto Vol. 6: Ysaye & Vieuxtemps

The Romantic Cello Concerto Vol. 6: Ysaye & Vieuxtemps


Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 46

Cello Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 50


Méditation pour violoncelle et orchestre, Op. 16

Sérénade pour violoncelle et orchestre, Op. 22

Alban Gerhardt (cello)

Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Josep Caballé-Domenech

Hyperion’s blossoming Romantic Cello Concerto series welcomes back German virtuoso Alban Gerhardt for this sixth volume. Henry Vieuxtemps and Eugène Ysaÿe are of course best known for their blistering pyrotechnics on the violin, but each of this eminent teacher-and-pupil pairing also wrote two works—little known today, alas—for cello and orchestra, and what a revelation they are. The two Vieuxtemps Concertos contain all the elements familiar from their famous violin counterparts—long-arched melodies alongside moments of outrageous virtuoso demands. The Ysaÿe works are shorter and make ideal companions.

Gerhardt rises to the formidable challenges presented by these composers. Sympathetic orchestral support comes from the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (compatriots of the two composers) and Josep Caballé-Domenech, making his Hyperion conducting debut.

“Vieuxtemps seems to have been able to enter the expressive and technical world of the cello with an instinctive ease...Gerhardt plays them with affection and terrific aplomb, echoed by Vieuxtemps’s Belgian countrymen in the Royal Flemish Philharmonic under the spirited baton of the Spanish conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech.” The Telegraph, 1st February 2015 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - The Romantic Cello Concerto - CDA67790


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The Romantic Violin Concerto 18 - Jongen & Lazzari

The Romantic Violin Concerto 18 - Jongen & Lazzari


Fantasia in E major, Op. 12

Adagio symphonique in B major, Op. 20

Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 17

Lazzari, S:

Rapsodie in E minor

The Romantic Violin Concerto series reaches Belgium and the music of Joseph Jongen, a composer more celebrated for his organ music now, but who was equally admired in his day for his orchestral and chamber works. Jongen studied at the Liège Conservatoire where he heard the great violinist Eugène Ysaÿe and composer-conductors Vincent d’Indy and Richard Strauss.

In this new album Philippe Graffin (a welcome and familiar presence in this series) collaborates with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Martyn Brabbins in Jongen’s Violin Concerto, one of the composer’s first substantial works. It was described by his contemporary Florent Schmitt as ‘one of the finest violin concertos’; and he admired the ‘outpouring of warm lyricism’ and ‘lush profusion of themes and rhythms’.

Also included are other works for violin and orchestra, and a Rapsodie for the same forces by Italian Romantic Sylvio Lazzari (1857–1944) who was influenced—as was Jongen—by the music of César Franck.

“Strongly tonal and lyrical, Jongen's chief influences seem to be Richard Strauss and Cesar Franck…[Graffin's] tender, slender tone in softer passages is one of the disc's main attractions but is not sufficiently brilliant to match with equal vigour the full might of the orchestra.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - The Romantic Violin Concerto - CDA68005


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Tallis: Ave, rosa sine spinis

Tallis: Ave, rosa sine spinis

& other sacred music


O salutaris hostia for five voices

Wipe Away my Sins

Why Fum'th in Fight?

Ave rosa sine spinis

Blessed be thy Name

Te lucis ante terminum I

In manus tuas

Te lucis ante terminum II

O come in one to praise the Lord

When Jesus went into Simon the Pharisee's house

Euge celi porta

Mass for four voices

Laudate Dominum

Miserere nostri, motet for 7 voices, P. 207

Salvator mundi, salva nos 2 - antiphonn for five voices

The Cardinall’s Musick and their inspirational director Andrew Carwood present a further volume of their Gramophone-Award-winning series of Tallis’s sacred music.

This new album contains some of the most sublime music of the entire period, performed with The Cardinall’s Musick’s familiar committed, full-blooded and beautiful singing. In including both Tallis’s English and Latin settings, it demonstrates the composer’s mastery of the changing edicts imposed on him from above in this turbulent time.

Informative and scholarly booklet notes by Andrew Carwood place the music in its historical and liturgical context.

“[Ave, rosa spine spinis]...really brings out the best in the choir, which shows an intelligent sense of direction and a liveliness of execution. The duets in this work are managed very nicely, too, though the bass part at some points...lacks pliability. Elsewhere there is some quite spectacular singing...this present disc is no mean advocate for Tallis's musical imagination.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68076


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Scriabin: Complete Poèmes

Scriabin: Complete Poèmes


Deux poèmes, Op. 32

Poème tragique Op. 34

Poeme satanique for Piano, Op.36

Poeme for Piano, Op.41

2 Poems for Piano, Op. 44

Feuillet d'album, Op. 45 No. 1

Poème fantasque in C major, Op. 45 No. 2

Scherzo for Piano in C major, Op. 46

Quasi Valse, Op. 47

Rêverie, Op. 49 No. 3

Fragilite, Op. 51, No. 1

Poème Aile, Op. 51 No. 3

Danse languide, Op. 51 No. 4

Trois Morceaux Op. 52

Ironies Op. 56 No. 2

Nuances, Op. 56 No. 3

Two Pieces, Op. 57

Albumblatt, Op. 58

Poème for piano, Op. 59 No. 1

Poème-Nocturne, Op. 61

2 Poems for Piano, Op. 63

Poèmes, Op. 69 Nos. 1 & 2

Deux poèmes Op. 71

Vers la flamme, Op. 72

Deux Danses Op. 73

For all of his short adult life, Alexander Scriabin wrote—or planned to write—monumental works of great import, and in between these efforts he produced a steady torrent of miniatures, tiny concentrated droplets of this same expansive genius. Fascinatingly, the composer’s designation ‘poème’ is applied both to ground-breaking symphonic perorations and to the extended series of thirty-four little piano pieces, written over more than a decade and often grouped into little sets. Their inspirations are as varied as their titles—from black magic to cosmic aspiration—and they offer a key into their composer’s inner world.

American pianist Garrick Ohlsson is an acknowledged master of the genre—astonished critical reaction to his recordings of Brahms, Granados and of course Chopin attest to this—and this new Scriabin recording will only enhance an admirable reputation.

“Ohlsson understands such obsessiveness as well as any pianist alive today, and what his performances occasionally lack in colour and variety they make up in effortless virtuosity and total musical command.” The Guardian, 5th February 2015 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA67988


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Mozart: Horn Concertos & Horn Quintet

Mozart: Horn Concertos & Horn Quintet


Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4 (complete)

The Hanover Band, Anthony Halstead

Horn Quintet in E flat, K407

with the Eroica Quartet

Pip Eastop (natural horn)

Mozart’s Horn Concertos are perhaps the most popular works ever written for the instrument. This new album is a collection of all the works Mozart wrote for his lifelong friend, the horn player Joseph Leutgeb (1732–1811), one of the foremost players of his day.

In these five works Mozart captures the public persona of an instrument most readily associated with all things hunting, but he also brings it indoors: lyrical episodes, and especially the slow movements, show the very soul of the instrument, despite any perceived limitations of the valveless horn. Leutgeb must indeed have been a worthy recipient of these fine works.

His modern successor is natural horn player Pip Eastop, whose technical ability and musical inventiveness are palpable in these hugely enjoyable renditions. He is accompanied by The Hanover Band and Tony Halstead (who has also provided an ending for the unfinished K417, Horn Concerto No 2 in E flat major).

“you would to go a long way to hear such a refined legato line as Eastop achieves. With lucid input from The Hanover Band and from the Eroica Quartet in the Quintet, these performances have a musical integrity over and above historical interest.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2015

“Pip Eastop plays on a modern copy of an 1830 natural horn with an astonishing variety of noises at his command.” Financial Times, 24th January 2015

“Even those who know these concertos quite well will find much to surprise here...Not least, where most players of the natural horn seek to minimise the difference in tone of those pitches that can only be got out of the instrument by hand-stopping and tricks of breathing, Pip Eastop positively flaunts them...Crisp playing by The Hanover Band under Halstead.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68097


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Debussy: Images & Préludes II

Debussy: Images & Préludes II


Préludes - Book 2 (12, complete)

Images pour piano - Books 1 & 2

A new album from Marc-André Hamelin is always cause for celebration. Here in his first Debussy recording for Hyperion he presents the two books of Images: Debussy’s colouristic masterpiece, a bewitching compendium of ‘scents, colours and sounds’. Also recorded here is the second book of Préludes, in a poetic and evocative performance.

“Hamelin's stature, extraordinary from the start, increases with every new issue. And here in his latest album he subdues his legendary, transcendent technique to convey Debussy's very essence with a surpassing ease and naturalness....Hamelin's glistening sonority is flawlessly captured by the Hyperion team. This is a disc to treasure.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

“The hallmarks of Hamelin's style are always in evidence, and the clarity with which the polyphonic aspects of Reflets dans l'eau come through gives a sense of momentum rarely perceived in this piece. Indeed, it is the lack of impressionism in Hamelin's playing which guarantees the effectiveness of Debussy's impressionistic whimsies.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2015 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA67920



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Brumel: Missa de beata virgine & motets

Brumel: Missa de beata virgine & motets

Brumel, A:

Nato canunt omnia

Beata es, Maria

Lauda Sion salvatorem

Ave caelorum domina

Missa de beata virgine

The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice

The Brabant Ensemble continues its exploration of hidden gems of the Renaissance with an album of music by Antoine Brumel, famous for his ‘Earthquake’ Mass but otherwise barely known today. Conductor Stephen Rice has assembled an intriguing collection of works including the Missa de beata virgine, a work suffused with plainsong but in which the voices are used almost percussively, making rhythm the driving force of the piece. The Christmas motet Nato canunt omnia is one of the most remarkable musical works of the period.

The Brabant Ensemble’s performance is polished yet light, flexible expressive and spontaneous, parading the polyphony in all its glory.

“The programme showcases [Brumel's] heterogenous style...and the group's radiant sound - superbly captured in the open, silvery recording - illuminates the multiple texts of this glittering musical mosaic...a fine balance of insightful musicological research and seraphic singing.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 *****

“Its centrepiece is his Mass for the Blessed of Brumel's finest works, in which his tendency to note-spinning is kept in check (as it is in the rest of the music chosen for this recording)...The Brabants have never ventured this early before but on this showing I hope very much that they will do so again.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68065



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