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Edwin York Bowen (1884-1961)

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Bowen - Piano Music

Bowen - Piano Music


Bowen:

24 Preludes Op. 102

Thirteen Preludes

Ballade No 2, Op 87

Piano Sonata No. 5 in F minor, Op. 72

Berceuse Op. 83

Moto perpetuo from op 39

Toccata, Op. 155

Romance No. 1, Op 35, No 1

Romance No. 2, Op 45


“York Bowen could have no more ardent or pianistically adroit advocate” Gramophone Magazine

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

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Hyperion - CDA66838

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Bowen - The Piano Sonatas

Bowen - The Piano Sonatas


Bowen:

Piano Sonata No. 1 in B minor, Op. 6

Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 9

Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 12

Short Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 35, No. 1

Piano Sonata No. 5 in F minor, Op. 72

Piano Sonata No. 6 Op. 160


Danny Driver (piano)

The recent revival of York Bowen’s music, very much spearheaded by Hyperion, has spawned a plethora of new recordings of his compositions, and won him many new admirers. Among the new releases, this disc of Bowen’s piano sonatas is a uniquely important collection. It contains three premiere recordings, including two recordings of previously unpublished sonatas performed (with special permisson) from the manuscripts. It is thus the first ever recording of the complete sonatas – an unmissable opportunity for piano enthusiasts.

Hyperion is delighted to welcome back the young virtuoso Danny Driver who was enthusiastically acclaimed for his masterly, stylish and technically dazzling performances of Bowen’s Third and Fourth Piano Concertos, and described as an ideal performer of these works.

“Danny Driver, whose debut on Hyperion was an acclaimed recording of Bowen's Third and Fourth piano concertos, is the ideal advocate for this glorious music, playing with razor-sharp articulation and a rich, organ-like sonority… while characterising Bowen's ruminative slow movements with tender introspection and an improvisatory air…” Gramophone Magazine, December 2009

“Danny Driver plays the canon of six sonatas with a blend of warmth, bravura, expressive sensibility and verve … Driver’s superb, astute performances are convincing testimonies to Bowen assimilating stimuli with a potent imagination of his own” The Telegraph

“Scintillating demands amply accomplished by Driver, whose light filigree passagework is sensationally clear … Driver’s virtuosity and technical finesse is remarkable” International Record Review

GGramophone Awards 2010

Finalist - Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - December 2009

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Hyperion - CDA67751/2

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Benjamin Dale: Piano Music

Benjamin Dale: Piano Music


Bowen:

Miniature Suite in C major, Op. 14

Dale, B:

Piano Sonata in D minor

Prunella

Night Fancies


Danny Driver (piano)

The monumental Piano Sonata in D minor was composed by a young Benjamin Dale while he was still a student at the Royal Academy of Music. Dale’s contemporaries included the burgeoning composer-pianists Arnold Bax and York Bowen. Dale dedicated the sonata to his close friend Bowen, who gave the premiere of the work at the Academy in February 1905 and astonished listeners with its daring structural originality and thematic integrity and its breathtaking tonal colours. The elaborate form encompasses an impressive amalgamation of the traditional slow movement, scherzo and finale into an inventive set of variations. Also featured are Dale’s charming Prunella and Night Fancies in which Dale explores impressionistic colourings. Rather aptly, the final work on the disc is the first recording of York Bowen’s Miniature Suite in C major, the Humoresque of which is dedicated reciprocally to Dale.

His expressive sensibility and remarkable dexterity make young British pianist Danny Driver the ideal advocate for this repertoire. His landmark interpretations of the Bowen Sonatas were met with huge critical acclaim and Driver performs this incredibly virtuosic music with apparent ease, passion and lyricism. This disc of eclectic and intricate piano music will surely enhance his reputation as one of Britain’s finest pianists.

“Danny Driver’s superb performance shows a confident composer, imaginative in sustaining a span of 45 minutes. Night Fancies, which Driver plays at Wigmore Hall on July 9, flirts with Impressionism, to which York Bowen’s Miniature Suite is a brilliant foil.” The Telegraph, 23rd June 2011 ****

“Here is a disc to warm the hearts and minds of those who treasure romantic nostalgia...it is doubtful that [the Sonata] has ever been played with a more shining commitment than by Danny Driver. His performance ranges from thundering rhetoric to a whispering poetic delicacy...you become enthralled by a pianist of such magisterial warmth and finesse...This issue is as moving as it is superlative.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2011

“Danny Driver has an extraordinary affinity with English music of this period. He plays Dale's Sonata with a conviction and musicality that just might persuade you it's a forgotten masterpiece...Bowen's three-movement Suite, recorded with a slightly airier acoustic, is delivered with all the requisite wit and panache that the music demands.” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 *****

“Danny Driver's stylish and immaculate playing makes an outstanding case for some technically demanding music. One for English music aficionados.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 ****

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Hyperion - CDA67827

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Stephen Hough's English Album

Stephen Hough's English Album


Bantock:

Song to the Seals

(arr. Hough)

Bowen:

Reverie d'Amour Op. 20 No. 2

Serious Dance Op. 51 No. 2

The Way to Polden (an ambling tune) Op. 76

Bridge:

The Dew Fairy

Heart's Ease

Hough:

Valse Enigmatique No. 1

Valse Enigmatique No. 2

Leighton:

Six Studies (Study-Variations) Op. 56

Rawsthorne:

Bagatelles

Reynolds, S:

Two Poems in Homage to Delius

Two Poems in Homage to Fauré


‘Hough’s pianism is a constant source of wonder—every chord and phrase perfectly judged’ Classic FM Magazine

“The very opening item, Rawsthorne's four Bagatelles, instantly makes it clear that this latest recital disc from Stephen Hough has a different aim from his previous collections of charmers.
Gritty and tough, in Hough's hands sounding wonderfully pianistic, these miniatures are thoughtful and intense, balanced at the end of the disc by the final item, also by far the longest, Kenneth Leighton's Study Variations. These do not make for easy listening either, but they inspire Hough to superb pianism over six sharply characterised pieces, at times echoing Bartók in their angry energy, at others full of fantasy. What all these very varied pieces demonstrate is Hough's profound love of keyboard sound and textures, and his rare gift of bringing out the full tonal beauty.
It's evidence, too, of Hough's wizardry that he makes the Elgar piece, In Smyrna, sound so magical. In his hands it's like an improvisation with echoes of the lovely solo viola serenade in the overture, In the South. The three Bowen works are simple and song-like using an almost cabaret-style of piano writing. In all these pieces Hough's magic is presented in full, clear Hyperion sound. Thoroughly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion Instrumental Selections - CDA67267

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 46 - York Bowen

The Romantic Piano Concerto 46 - York Bowen


Bowen:

Piano Concerto No. 3 (‘Fantasia’) in G minor, Op. 23 (1907)

Piano Concerto No. 4 in A minor, Op. 88

James Horan (cor anglais) & Scott Dickinson (viola)


Hyperion’s virtually single-handed rehabilitation of the music of York Bowen (known in his time as ‘The English Rachmaninov’), continues apace with this recording of the third and fourth piano concertos. Piano Concerto No 3 is a vigorous one-movement work with three well-defined sections of varying tempos in Fantasia style. Bowen’s sparkling performances of it drew plaudits from contemporary critics, who hailed it as his best composition thus far.

The Piano Concerto No 4 (said by Sorabji to be the greatest work for piano and orchestra ever written by an Englishman) is a large-scale Romantic, virtuoso work, impressionistic solo passages alternating freely with Straussian orchestral textures throughout. It was written for a BBC broadcast, and for the composer himself to perform; Bowen considered the work his best composition for the piano and an important addition to the concerto literature. It has not been given a studio recording until now.

The young British pianist Danny Driver, a Bowen specialist, gives a virtuoso performance with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins.

‘Driver boasts an impressive technique and a clear musical intelligence’ (The Observer)

‘Danny Driver is a thoughtful and musical player and the possessor of a formidable technique … [his] control of dynamic and phrasing were exceptional’ (Musical Opinion)

‘Driver has all the makings of becoming a notable musician—one of integrity and intelligence, commodities all too rare … his naturalness, thinking, and understatement reminded, respectively, of Lupu, Brendel and Curzon’ (The Classical Source)

“Danny Driver… Brabbins and the punchy Scottish players play Bowen as if he were standard repertoire with the added zest of a live performance. The 1908 four-movements-in-one Third Concerto… with its surging climaxes and souring themes, offers 17 minutes of instant gratification... The much longer... Fourth Concerto (1937) is generally darker in character, no less attractive but even more rewarding. The writing veers between magical impressionism and passionate bravura outburst couched in Straussian orchestral textures. Thrilling stuff.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008

“The Fourth Concerto of 1937 tells a stronger story. The first movement's smouldering opening at once impresses - as does its recall at the end of the finale, memorably combined with that movement's own themes. The second movement, too, has some wonderful lyrical flights. Danny Driver's pianism is fully and eagerly up to Bowen's considerable demands. He is supported by the BBC Scottish Orchestra's vivid and satisfying contribution.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2009 ****

“Soloist Danny Driver emerges as the virtuoso hero of the hour” Classic FM Magazine

“Absolutely stunning … what a way to be introduced to the music of York Bowen!” American Record Guide

“This disc is the latest and arguably the most impressive so far in the continuing resuscitation of the music of London-born composer-pianist York Bowen (1884–1961).’These two concertos sound more Continental than English, with the single-movement Third (1908) betraying the influence of Saint-Saëns and the more substantial Fourth (1937) having a Debussy-meets-Strauss late-Romantic palette. Both, though, have enough scintillating character of their own to reward repeated listening, while Danny Driver’s performances are masterly, stylish and full of dazzling pianism” The Telegraph

“Sorabji, in the final essay of Mi Contra Fa, declared York Bowen to be 'at the present time [1947], the one English composer whose work can justly be said to be that of a great Master of the [piano]'. Hearing these two works, it's hard to deny that Sorabji had a point.
It takes a particular kind of pianistic sensibility to take up Bowen's virtuoso challenges and 'sell' them. Danny Driver certainly lives up to his surname. He, Brabbins and the punchy Scottish players play Bowen as if he were standard repertoire with the added zest of a live performance.
The 1908 four-movements-in-one Third Concerto (aka Fantasia), with its surging climaxes and soaring themes, offers 17 minutes of instant gratification, though it's a pity Hyperion did not provide separate tracks for the work's distinct sections.
The much longer (42'53”) Fourth Concerto (1937) is generally darker in character, no less attractive but even more rewarding. The writing veers between magical impressionism and passionate bravura outbursts couched in Straussian orchestral textures. Thrilling stuff. Driver, again, is firmly in the spotlight. This is his first recording for Hyperion. Here's to many more, including his planned complete York Bowen sonatas.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Danny Driver communicates energetic enjoyment in playing both concertos” The Guardian, 31st October 2008 ***

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Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA67659

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The Stephen Hough Piano Collection

The Stephen Hough Piano Collection


Bowen:

Berceuse Op. 83

Brahms:

Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5

Chopin:

Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47

Deng Yu-Hsien:

Spring Wind

Franck, C:

Choral No. 3 in A minor, M. 40

Hough:

Suite Osmanthus

Hummel, J:

Piano Sonata in F sharp minor Op. 81 - Vivace

Liszt:

Polonaise No. 2 in E major, S223 No. 2

Mompou:

La fuente y la campana - Paisajes No. 1

Reynolds, S:

Chanson d'automne

Schubert:

Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, D613 - Finale

Tchaikovsky:

Pas de quatre

Weber, B:

Fantasia (Variations)


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Hyperion - HOUGH1

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York Bowen - Complete Works for Viola & Piano

York Bowen - Complete Works for Viola & Piano


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight': Adagio sostenuto

with Viola Obbligato by York Bowen, Completed and Edited by Lawrence Power

Bowen:

Viola Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 18

Romance in D flat major

1900, arr. 1904

Fantasia for 4 violas, Op. 41

Lawrence Power, Philip Dukes, James Boyd & Scott Dickinson (violas)

Phantasy for Viola & Piano Op. 54

Viola Sonata No. 2 in F Major, Op. 22

Romance in A major

Allegro de concert

Melody for the G string, Op. 47

Serious Dance Op. 51 No. 2

Rhapsody in G minor


Lawrence Power (viola) & Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)

This recent appraisal of Lawrence Power affirms his status as one of the foremost violists of today, the heir to the long and honoured tradition of Lionel Tertis and William Primrose. His unwavering musical eloquence and brilliant

technical ability have consistently drawn the highest praise for all his recordings and performances. His renditions of viola concertos by Walton, Rubbra, Cecil Forsyth and York Bowen have been acclaimed as benchmark recordings. He now presents a fascinating double-album of York Bowen’s viola music: a selection that fully demonstrates the great artistry of the composer known as the ‘English Rachmaninov’.

Bowen first came under the spell of the viola player Lionel Tertis when a student at the Royal Academy of Music. He responded to Tertis’s unprecedented virtuosity and large tone with two sonatas, a concerto and many shorter pieces. He continued to write works for Tertis throughout his life, all of which are recorded here, and they display the sort of extraordinary technical challenges which prove what an amazing virtuoso he was.

“All the pieces show Bowen's love of the instrument's capacity to unfold long-limbed, rhapsodic melodies, though his harmonic world rarely strays beyond that of Brahms; Lawrence Power's richly expressive moulding of them is a rare treat in itself.” The Guardian, 27th June 2008 ***

“It is easy to dismiss Bowen’s music as conservative, but the two viola sonatas of 1905 and 1906 are clearly inspired by the romantic style of Brahms’s late sonatas for clarinet or viola. They are worthy successors, at least when played with the sumptuous tone, passionate conviction and supreme technical address that Powers lavishes on them here. Crawford-Phillips relishes the bravura of York’s writing for the piano (the composer’s first instrument) in this superbly executed set, unlikely to be equalled very soon.” Sunday Times, 6th July 2008 ****

“Following his successful recording of Bowen' Concerto, Lawrence Power turns to this repertoire with similar technical ease, and persuasively idiomatic tempo inflections and portamenti (slides).” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 *****

“…the performances could hardly more glowing. Bowen's writing for both instruments is more than demanding yet nothing detracts from Lawrence Power's and Simon Crawford-Phillips's enviable fluency and achievement.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2008

“Power, the first British winner of the William Primrose International Viola Competition, now returns to this cherishable area of the repertoire with equally stunning results. Accompanied by Crawford-Phillips, Lawrence’s fabulous combination of tonal seductiveness and technical wizardry works wonders in the bold expressive outlines of the two sonatas. Yet it is the heart-warming, stand-alone pieces (many recorded here for the first time) … that make this release truly indispensable. Another Hyperion winner” Classic FM Magazine

“Inspired by the incomparable Lionel Tertis, his friend and colleague at the Royal Academy of Music, Bowen wrote music for the viola of such richness and fantasy that its long neglect is one of music's saddest mysteries. True, Bowen's delight in resurrecting the glamour of the past and archaisms too long uncherished, sat uneasily with the engulfing modernism of his age.
Bowen, like Medtner, had little wish to move with the times, and yet if his music is endearingly old-fashioned it is also full of surprises and of a harmonic language and idiom peculiarly his own. Only a puritan could fail to respond to Bowen's warmth and exquisite craftsmanship in, for example the Fantasia, two Romances and the two Melodies where his sense of elegy takes on a double meaning: the aftermath of the war and the loss of what he saw as the departure of civilised creativity.
Both discs are beautifully planned, opening with sizeable sonatas and continuing with shorter works before ending with more largescale offerings, and the performances could hardly be more glowing. Bowen's writing for both instruments is more than demanding yet nothing detracts from Lawrence Power's and Simon Crawford-Phillips's enviable fluency and achievement. Once again Hyperion has hit the jackpot in a much-needed revival and the sound and balance are exemplary.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion - CDA67651/2

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York Bowen: The complete works for violin and piano

York Bowen: The complete works for violin and piano


Bowen:

Sonata in E Minor for Violin and Piano, Op. 112

Allegretto, Op. 105

Suite for Violin & Piano, Op. 28

Melody for the G string, Op. 47

Phantasie in E minor, Op. 34

Song

Bolero

Melody

Albumleaf

Violin Sonata in B minor, Op. 7

Romance in D flat major

Serenade

Valse harmonique


Chloë Hanslip (violin) & Danny Driver (piano)

Young virtuoso Chloë Hanslip and York Bowen specialist Danny Driver present Bowen’s complete works for violin and piano. Many of these works have never been recorded or indeed published before, and have been excavated from the archives by Driver himself. This double album is therefore a valuable resource for admirers of a composer whom Hyperion has done so much to champion through recordings. This body of work includes juvenilia, miniatures (written with an eye to academic performance during Bowen’s years as a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, but all impressive enough in quality to be concert works), his two Violin Sonatas, a Suite and a number of single-movement works. All show a superb composer of chamber music, a genuine original with a performer’s ear.

“Violinist and pianist on this set do these minor pieces ideally, and full marks to Chloe Hanslip and Danny Drive for neither milking them sentimentally nor condescending to their simplicity by over-exaggeration.” International Record Review, May 2013

“[Hanslip's] playing reminds me of some of the finest and most individual players of the past. There is an elegance and gallantry to her phrasing that cannot be taught or practiced – it's just there...In her performing colleague Danny Driver she has the ideal co-creator of musical magic...this is a superlative pair of discs. Bowen might not be a genius, but if ever a pair of performers were going to persuade me otherwise, this would be the team.” MusicWeb International, 16th May 2013

“one idiomatic opportunity after another is seized on by Chloë Hanslip with panache, poise, and laser-like accuracy...My only reservation about these excellent performances concerns Danny Driver's accompaniments: superbly fluent and supportive, they're also perhaps a touch more self-effacing than they need to be.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 ****

“there's a wholly infectious conviction, spontaneity and panache about these superbly accomplished performances that lend them special distinction. Chloe Hanslip plays with the most enviably sweet and subtly variegated tone...[Driver's] irreproachably eager and stylish pianism is a joy to encounter.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2013

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Hyperion - CDA67991/2

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