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Hyperion Records

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Fireworks at Fontainebleau to celebrate the marriage of Le Duc d'Orléans (1837) by Camille-Joseph-Étienne Roqueplan (1803-1855)
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67612
Recording details: April 2007
Haderslev Cathedral, Denmark
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2008
Total duration: 10 minutes 28 seconds

'Herrick and Hyperion are to be congratulated for this excellent endeavour' (American Record Guide)

'The unfailingly superb Christopher Herrick … this instrument is just right for this music, and the sumptuous Hyperion sound captures it all with great clarity … these are fireworks good and proper, lit with unerring precision and vividly displayed … Herrick has come up with performances of the two great French show-pieces which are so perfectly suited to the instrument that these wonderful performances stand as yardsticks … you have, for my money at least, the most glitteringly splendiferous set of Fireworks so far' (International Record Review)

'Christopher Herrick is an artist of the first rank … superbly characterful performances … and the sounds of this instrument are captured in beautiful, rich color' (Fanfare, USA)

'A magnificently played transcription of the Brahms Academic Festival Overture, registering the bass tunes with a memorable hollowed-out wheeze which suggests these students are nursing a hangover' (Oxford Today)

Academic Festival Overture, Op 80
composer
first performed on 4 January 1881 in Breslau; composed in response to Breslau University making Brahms Doctor of Philosophy in 1879
arranger

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1879, the University of Breslau conferred upon Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and he responded by writing his Academic Festival Overture, Op 80, which received its first performance on 4 January 1881 at Breslau, in a concert which included Brahms’s only other overture, the Tragic Overture, Op 81. Based on a number of student songs, including in particular the famous Gaudeamus igitur, it is heard here in the arrangement made by Edwin Lemare (1865–1934). Like Dupré, Lemare was a famous recitalist and he composed for the organ, but his many organ arrangements of Wagner have proved a more enduring legacy, especially that of the Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. This remarkably skilful reworking of Brahms’s equally spirited essay in C major shows how even the most exuberant of orchestral textures can be captured by manuals and pedals.

from notes by Relf Clark © 2008

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