Kenneth Hesketh: Horae (pro clara)

BIS: BIS2193

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Kenneth Hesketh: Horae (pro clara)

Label:

BIS

Catalogue No:

BIS2193

Discs:

1

Release date:

27th May 2016

Barcode:

7318599921938

Length:

66 minutes

Medium:

SACD (download also available)

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel
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Kenneth Hesketh: Horae (pro clara)


Hesketh:

Through Magic Casements

Horae (pro clara)

Notte Oscura

Japanese Miniatures (3)


Clare Hammond (piano)

SACD

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Following up on Etude and Reflections, her recent, highly acclaimed releases on BIS, here Clare Hammond performs music by her compatriot, the British composer Kenneth Hesketh, whose stimuli include classical architecture, medieval iconography, poetry and Bauhaus constructivism. In her liner notes, Clare Hammond describes his works for the piano as 'music of phenomenal depth in which there is always something new to discover, something to surprise even the most jaded ear’. The centrepiece of the disc is Horae (pro clara), composed for Clare Hammond: a 40-minute cycle in twelve parts that together form a breviary or miniature book of hours. None of the movements are titled, but many are provided with evocative performance directions, for example: ‘as fleet as the tiniest humming bird' and ‘impishly sardonic’. Some also incorporate literary references, such as a quote from 1 Corinthians in the twelfth: ‘for now we see through a glass, darkly’. The three shorter works that frame Horae are all earlier works. Notte Oscura was written in 2002 and is essentially a piano transcription of music from Hesketh’s opera The Overcoat, after Nikolai Gogol's short story. Composed in the same year, Three Japanese Miniatures develops material from another stage project, a puppet ballet based on Japanese folk tales entitled The Record of Ancient Matters. The work that opens the disc, Through Magic Casements from 2008, takes its title from another literary source: Keats’ poem Ode to a Nightingale. Many of the sonic effects seem to echo imagery in the poem, and the music evaporates at the end, as in Keats’ poem: ‘Fled is that music: – do I wake or sleep?’

Kenneth Hesketh: Through Magic Casements

Through Magic Casements

Kenneth Hesketh: Horae (Pro Clara)

I. Trasparente (diaphanous)

II. Velocissima assai (as fleet as the tiniest humming bird)

III. Semplice

IV. Agilmente (maniaco ed instabile – with never-ceasing energy)

V. Diretto, ancora fluido (like the splash and suspension of water droplets)

VI. Nervoso, ma dolce (flessibile)

VII. Capriccioso

VIII. Ritmico (giusto) (like intertwining chime clocks) - Flessibile

IX. Capriccioso (impishly sardonic)

X. Scorrevole (ma meccanico) (like an 'evening full of the linnet's wings')

XI. Indolente (…lapping, with low sounds)

XII. Molto misterioso, desolate (for now we see through a glass, darkly)

Kenneth Hesketh: Notte Oscura

Notte Oscura

Kenneth Hesketh: 3 Japanese Miniatures

No. 1. Temple Music

No. 2. The Cradle Rocks…

No. 3. Little Bumbuku

classicalsource.com

January 2017

*****

“It’s a real pleasure to listen to Kenneth Hesketh’s piano music, played with such dedication by Clare Hammond, and superbly recorded, too”

Gramophone Magazine

July 2016

“Magic and mystery, along with clock-like mechanics, feature again in the compositions for piano brought together on this new disc from BIS. It is extremely well recorded, with Clare Hammond…playing throughout with a winning combination of technical subtlety and expressive spontaneity in music that presents plenty of challenges to the performer”

MusicWeb International

24th May 2016

“Awards await this remarkable release”

The Classical Reviewer

28th May 2016

“Clare Hammond gives stunning performances that bring out all the poetry, delicacy, power, fluency, rhythmic buoyancy and sheer virtuosity contained in these striking works”

The Guardian

12th June 2016

****

“[Hesketh] composes music of delicate luminosity...But it’s not all in that vein of extreme subtlety. Bursts of colour and darkness offer contrast and rigour, virtuosically handled by Hammond, a star interpreter of contemporary music.”

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