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Pierné: Piano Quintet & Vierne: String Quartet

Pierné: Piano Quintet & Vierne: String Quartet


Pierné, G:

Piano Quintet

with Piers Lane (piano)

Vierne, L:

String Quartet in D minor, Op. 12


The admired Goldner String Quartet presents two utterly charming—yet little-known—examples of French chamber music by contemporaneous composers Pierné and Vierne.

Pierné’s fame came from his conducting, and his compositions are forgotten today. His Piano Quintet shows the influences of Massenet and Franck which characterize his music, and features the Basque dance ‘zortzico’.

Vierne was a celebrated organist, and his compositions for organ are heard every Sunday wherever there are suitable instruments and performers. His String Quartet shows a lighter side: it contains the Intermezzo, described by Roger Nichols as ‘quite simply one of the most delicious movements in all French chamber music. Over it hovers the spirit of Berlioz’s ‘Queen Mab Scherzo’ and of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, conjured up by pizzicatos, tremolos and dancing phrases that suddenly turn on a centime piece from one key to another’.

“The Goldner weigh every chord to perfection, and make the textures utterly transparent, while their partnership with Lane in the quintet is exemplary.” The Guardian, 3rd April 2014 ****

“There is discipline in this music, but also a warmth of spirit that finds an outlet in the third movement, and which the Goldners interpret with stylish sensitivity – a characteristic, indeed, of the whole disc.” The Telegraph, 4th April 2014 ****

“as this stylish account [of the Vierne] by the Goldner Quartet makes clear, it has a striking concision of expression, and the flitting of the Intermezzo is magical...Piers Lane joins the fun for Pierné's Piano Quintet...with the advocacy of this finely nuanced performance, Pierné's rhythmic and timbral invention shine through.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 ****

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Hyperion - CDA68036

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The Art of Melancholy

The Art of Melancholy

Songs by John Dowland


Dowland:

Sorrow, stay

Come again, sweet love doth now invite

Go Crystal tears

Mrs Winter's Jump

I saw my Lady weepe

Flow my teares (Lacrimæ)

Can she excuse my wrongs? (First Booke of Songes, 1597)

Behold a wonder here

Semper Dowland Semper Dolens

In darkness let me dwell

Time stands still

All ye, whom Love or Fortune hath betray'd

Say love if ever thou didst find

Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares

Come away, come, sweet love

Shall I strive with wordes to move?

Burst forth my tears

Fortune my foe

Come heavy sleep

Now, O now, I needs must part

Frog Galliard


Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Thomas Dunford (lute)

Of all English songwriters, John Dowland has enjoyed the most powerful afterlife, his voice unmistakably present in any version of his songs. The preeminent marriage of music and poetry, the nuanced shades of wit and melancholy and the extraordinary writing for both lute and voice all combine to proclaim Dowland as the father of English song.

Countertenor Iestyn Davies has gained international fame through his operatic performances (including lead roles at the Metropolitan Opera of New York and English National Opera) and recordings (including his Gramophone-Award-winning recording of Arias for Guadagni). Hearing him in this intimate musical setting is a revelation—as is the playing of the young lutenist Thomas Dunford.

Iestyn Davies talks to Presto's David Smith about The Art of Melancholy here.

“Sophistication and refinement inform every note of Iestyn Davies's recital...this recording proves that the age of monochrome Dowland is over.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 ****

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Hyperion - CDA68007

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Kreisler: Violin Music

Kreisler: Violin Music


Kreisler:

Praeludium and Allegro (in the style of Pugnani)

Syncopation

Schön Rosmarin

Liebesfreud

Liebesleid

Polichinelle, serenade

Tambourin Chinois, Op. 3

Melodie (after Gluck)

Toy Soldiers' March

La Chasse (The Hunt) in the style of Jean-Baptiste Cartier

Caprice Viennois, Op. 2

Allegretto (in the style of Boccherini)

Danse Espagnole (after Falla)

Mazurka in E minor (after Dvorak)

Miniature violin march

Recitative & Scherzo Caprice, Op. 6

Tartini:

Violin Sonata in G minor 'Devil's Trill'

arr. Kreisler


Jack Liebeck (violin) & Katya Apekisheva (piano)

Hyperion is delighted to welcome award-winning violinist Jack Liebeck to the label, together with his frequent collaborator, Katya Apekisheva.

Liebeck presents a selection of music by ‘revolutionary player and the epitome of the Viennese violinist’, Fritz Kreisler. Some of Kreisler’s works have a dubious genesis. He programmed his own pieces in recitals; but in about 1905 he started passing some off as works by composers of the past, even writing a ‘Vivaldi’ concerto. He continued this practice. In 1934 he instructed his American publisher, Carl Fischer, to list his so-called ‘Classical Manuscripts’ as his own compositions in the 1935 catalogue; but this change was pre-empted when the New York Times critic, Olin Downes, was asked to give a lecture-recital with Yehudi Menuhin and started investigating the origins of the Praeludium and Allegro. Kreisler admitted it was his own work and his deception made front-page news worldwide. The Praeludium and Allegro (Classical Manuscript No 5, attributed to Gaetano Pugnani) is Kreisler’s finest achievement. When playing it at the Paris Opéra in 1923, Kreisler saw Vincent d’Indy wag a finger at him from the front row and thought he had been found out. Afterwards d’Indy told him: ‘Pugnani would not have played the Allegro in that tempo.’

This selection includes Kreisler’s absurdly virtuosic arrangement of ‘The Devil’s Trill’ by Tartini: Kreisler’s edition, incorporating a realization of the figured bass as well as fingerings and phrasings, provides a fearsome cadenza involving triple- and quadruple-stopping as well as two- and three-note trills.

“An hour in the company of Messrs. Liebeck and Kreisler is very definitely time well spent, and it struck me as I listened that in a sense the relationship between Liebeck’s playing and Kreisler’s interpretations is a nice reflection of that between Kreisler and his ‘Old Masters’: underpinned by an obvious affection and understanding of the earlier style, yet always infused with freshness and individuality.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 31st March 2014

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Hyperion - CDA68040

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Brahms: String Quintets

Brahms: String Quintets


Brahms:

String Quintet No. 1 in F major, Op. 88

String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111


‘It was in the G major string quintet … that the Takács players again hit special heights, achieving near-miracles of balance and interplay and with Geraldine Walther and guest Lawrence Power delivering a masterclass of contrasting but complementary viola playing’ (The Guardian)

The Takács Quartet have been recently described as ‘one of the world’s most distinguished ensembles’. Here they collaborate with Britain’s greatest living viola player, Lawrence Power, who with his long association with The Nash Ensemble among others has also proved himself a remarkable chamber musician.

Brahms’s String Quintets (Opp 88 and 111) both represent landmarks of the Romantic chamber music repertoire, and demonstrate the composer’s utter mastery of the genre.

“These fine performances make a strong case for them.” Sunday Times, 6th April 2014

“Everything sounds as though it has been thought through extensively...The Takács's Brahms is like a superbly engineered road: we always know where we're going, and the views can be magnificent, but there are some interesting contours hidden beneath the tarmac.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 ****

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Hyperion - CDA67900

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The Romantic Cello Concerto, Vol. 4: Pfitzner

The Romantic Cello Concerto, Vol. 4: Pfitzner


Pfitzner:

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. posth.

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 52

Cello Concerto in G major

Duo for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 43

with Gergana Gergova (violin)


Hyperion’s Romantic Cello Concerto series continues to bring new works into a repertoire currently dominated by Dvorák and Elgar. Alban Gerhardt performs the three concertos by Hans Pfitzner, a composer remembered most for his opera Palestrina.

Pfitzner’s early Cello Concerto in A minor, Op posth., was scorned by his teachers (although liked by the composer himself) and the manuscript disappeared during his lifetime. It was first performed in public on 18 February 1977 and published the following year. His Cello Concerto in G major, Op 42, was written almost half a century later. Completed in 1935, this richly melodic single span was composed for the cellist Gaspar Cassadó (1897–1966), one of the finest cellists of his generation. This beautifully constructed concerto derives its material from the lyrical cello solo (heard over a quiet timpani roll) at the very start of the work. The orchestration is deft and often delicate, never submerging the solo instrument, but full of attractive surprises, not least the tumbling trumpet fanfares that introduce the first of the faster sections. The Cello Concerto in A minor, Op 52, is dedicated to Ludwig Hoelscher (1907–1996), a pupil of two giants of German cello-playing: Hugo Becker and Julius Klengel. It was completed in 1943 and published in 1944. Also included is a Duo for violin, cello and small orchestra.

“Gerhardt holds it all together with his sustained singing lines, while Weigle and his Berlin band provide vividly pointillist backing.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2014 ****

“they belong, somewhat anachronistically, to Hyperion’s Romantic Cello Concertos, and Gerhardt plays them with enough conviction to make cello buffs want to give them a try.” Sunday Times, 30th March 2014

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Hyperion - The Romantic Cello Concerto - CDA67906

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Tallis: Missa Puer natus est nobis

Tallis: Missa Puer natus est nobis

& other sacred music


anon.:

Puer natus est nobis

Tallis:

Salvator mundi, Domine

Missa Puer natus est nobis

Quod chorus vatum

Benedictus (Blessed be the Lord God of Israel)

Magnificat for 4 voices

Audivi vocem de caelo

Videte miraculum


Gramophone Record of the Year-winning group The Cardinall’s Musick continues its exploration of Tallis’s sacred music. These recordings not only showcase the greatest repertoire of the English Renaissance in dazzling performances, but also illustrate the complex historical and political background of the works and their genesis.

This volume presents Tallis’s extraordinary seven-voice Mass, Missa Puer natus est nobis, which dates from the Catholic reign of Mary I. In his fascinating booklet notes Andrew Carwood writes that this Mass is ‘something of a marriage between the English and Spanish Chapels, not only in its scoring but also in its sound world … the piece is sonorous and rich, a gorgeous background tapestry for a solemn celebration of the Mass, and has wonderful dramatic effects including the use of antiphony or dialogue between voices. It is a shame that Tallis wrote no more in this vein but, perhaps like Mary’s short-lived Restoration, it was a piece of the moment not to be repeated’.

Other works recorded here include what is possibly Tallis’s earliest work, the four-part Latin Magnificat, and the gloriously splendid Videte miraculum, a masterpiece with a ‘rich palette of colours, enhanced by suave melodic writing with a slow-moving harmonic pulse tinged with heart-achingly gorgeous cadences’.

“[The Mass is] sung here with customary perfection by the Cardinall's Musick, who polish other Tallis gems alongside it, most notablyVidete miraculum, a work of such sensuous beauty it quite eclipses the Mass.” The Observer, 16th March 2014 ****

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Hyperion - CDA68026

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Arensky: Piano Trios

Arensky: Piano Trios


Arensky:

Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32

Piano Trio No. 2 in F minor, Op. 73

Rachmaninov:

Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14

arr. Julius Conus


Leonore Piano Trio: Tim Horton (piano), Benjamin Nabarro (violin) & Gemma Rosefield (cello)

Arensky’s Piano Trios represent a fine example of the Russian romantic piano trio, a form ‘invented’ by Tchaikovsky, Arensky’s close friend and influence.

Piano Trio No 1 is the more popular of the two, dedicated to the cellist Karl Davidoff. Davidoff is regarded as the founder of the Russian school of cello-playing, and Arensky’s dedication accounts for the fact that the cello plays such a prominent role, having most of the principal themes and often seeming to eclipse the violin in importance. Piano Trio No 2 is one composer’s last works, and marks a considerable advance in Arensky’s compositional techniques.

Hyperion is delighted to present the Leonore Piano Trio (Tim Horton, Benjamin Nabarro and Gemma Rosefield, who features as soloist on Hyperion’s Romantic Cello Concerto series Volume 3: Stanford Cello Concertos) in its debut recording.

“here is music for all those who weary of grappling with the complexities of contemporary works to rejoice in an all-Russian fountain of melodic charm...The Leonores play with truly glorious affection and security, and it is hard to imagine playing of a greater empathy.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

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Hyperion - CDA68015

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Schubert: Winterreise D911

Schubert: Winterreise D911


Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

The Gramophone-award winning partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake turns to perhaps the most celebrated song-cycle of them all. Schubert’s Winterreise is a masterpiece of despair, astonishing in its bleakness and enthrallingly mesmerizing as the journey continues. Finley brings all his considerable dramatic powers to his performance—and all but submerges them under the ice.

Richard Wigmore writes that ‘before Winterreise Schubert had composed individual songs of pathos and despair, even of apocalyptic terror. What was new about the cycle was the spareness and angularity of much of the writing, the work’s sustained godless pessimism and its obsessive exploration of a mind veering between delusion, ironic self-awareness and nihilistic despair. The water music, limpid, turbulent or benedictory, of Schubert’s earlier Müller cycle, Die schöne Müllerin, yields in Winterreise to musical emblems of trudging and stumbling, bareness and exhaustion, derangement and frozen, trancelike stillness’.

“one of the finest [Winterreises] I have ever heard. The merits of Finley's singing are well known. The beauty of his voice is a good place to start, and even referring to such matters as intonation and line seems impertinent when dealing with singing such as this.” International Record Review, March 2014

“Finley's [reading] is inward, poised, heartbreaking in holding back. The more quietude he brings to each song...the more potent his reading. Julius Drake, accompanying, is equally lyrical, fluent, expressive. Neither lets the music shout...The disc lends itself to repeated exploration” The Observer, 16th March 2014 ****

“Finley can exercise his lyrical powers in such songs as 'Der Lindenbaum'...but it is not a lyrical talent alone: more to the point, it is the spectrum of tonal colouring, inflection and instinctive phrasing which lend this performance of Winterreise such an absorbing sense of inner communion with the soul.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

“Perhaps more than any other recording the singer and the pianist are in equilibrium...if often sounds as if Julius Drake has just had an idea - and they are all good ones - and Gerald Finley picks up on it; or vice versa...This, to my mind the greatest of all bleak works of art, here receives its perfect rendering.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68034

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The Romantic Violin Concerto 15 - Młynarski & Zarzycki

The Romantic Violin Concerto 15 - Młynarski & Zarzycki


Mlynarski:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 11

Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major, Op. 16

Zarzycki:

Introduction and Cracovienne, Op. 35

Mazurka in G, Op. 26


Eugene Ugorski (violin)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Michał Dworzyński

In this latest volume of Hyperion’s Romantic Violin Concerto series, we journey to Poland (in the company of a conductor from that country) for two concertos by Młynarski and two works for violin and orchestra by Zarzycki (who will be familiar to Romantic Piano Concerto collectors).

Lithuanian-born Emil Młynarski was the father-in-law of Artur Rubinstein and was appointed director of the Warsaw Philharmonic in 1900. He had a busy international conducting career which included the LSO in London, the Scottish Orchestra and the Philadelphia Grand Opera company. His Violin Concerto No 1 in D minor, Op 11, dedicated to Leopold Auer, was written in 1897 and won a prize in the Paderewski Composition Competition. Młynarski takes as his models the virtuoso works of Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski, and the main mood is a fresh, youthful lyricism. Surprisingly, after its initial success, this Concerto was not played again until Piotr Plawner took it up in 2011. His Violin Concerto No 2 was premiered by the Warsaw Philharmonic in April 1920, with Paweł Kochański as soloist and Młynarski conducting. The concerto has remained in the repertoire of Polish violinists.

Like most Polish composers, including Chopin and Młynarski, Zarzycki also wrote pieces in the form of the krakowiak, a fastish 2/4 dance from the Krakow region. It became popular in Vienna as the Krakauer, and in Paris as the Cracovienne. The Introduction et Cracovienne in D major, Op 35, was well liked by violinists in Zarzycki’s own time but amazingly was not recorded until the CD era. The Mazurka on the other hand is the composer’s best-known work and was recorded by Oistrakh, amongst others.

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Hyperion - The Romantic Violin Concerto - CDA67990

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Kodály: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2, Intermezzo & Gavotte

Kodály: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2, Intermezzo & Gavotte


Kodály:

String Quartet No. 1

String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10

Intermezzo for string trio

Gavotte for three violins and cello


In the chamber works recorded here, spanning Kodály’s career, we can hear an unwavering desire to place genuine Hungarian folk music (rather than the ‘style hongrois’ espoused by the Strauss family and many other composers) within classical music traditions. Bartók wrote of his compatriot that ‘if I were to name the composer whose works are the most perfect embodiment of the Hungarian spirit, I would answer, Kodály’.

The Dante Quartet, winners of the BBC Music Magazine Award for their album of Franck and Fauré, respond to this music with dancing energy and folkloric simplicity.

“The charming Intermezzo from 1905 shows the influence of Vienna still apparent in the young composer, but by 1908 he was finding his true voice with the pungent, folk song-inspired first quartet, played here with unapologetic vigour by the Dantes.” The Observer, 2nd February 2014

“a secure recommendation for both works.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2014

“The Dante responds both subtly and animatedly to this piquant, passionate music.” The Telegraph, 4th March 2014 *****

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Hyperion - CDA67999

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