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Scutolo, 'The Marvel of Marvels' (1912) by Henry Brokman-Knudsen (1868-1933)
Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée du Petit-Palais, France / Lauros / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67591/2
Recording details: February 2007
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Michael George
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: June 2008
Total duration: 9 minutes 24 seconds

'These new recordings are sonically the best yet. Roscoe is famed for his touch and his playing's delicacy and finesse is evident throughout' (Gramophone)

'Apart from Grieg, no Scandinavian composer has written for the piano with more individuality and insight than Nielsen … Martin Roscoe is right inside this music and guides us through its marvels with great subtlety and authority. His is the most eloquent account since the pioneering set by Arne Skjøld Rasmussen. Hyperion gives him vivid and natural recorded sound and there are outstanding notes by Daniel Grimley' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The piano music of Carl Nielsen is notable not only for its striking emotional power and radicalism but also for its transparency—for the writing is always unmistakably Nielsen … the album as a whole is a treasure-chest; it presents an entirely new slant for those not acquainted with Nielsen's music and broadens the field of vision significantly for those who are … this deserves to become a most conspicuous recording, and Hyperion's usual excellence in achieving a full-bodied, crystal-clear sound continues boldly forward' (International Record Review)

'The Symphonic Suite, the Chaconne, the magnificent Theme and Variations … are powerful, poetic, original in both idea and structure, widely varied in mood, impressively organic and as important in their way as any of Nielsens' remarkable symphonies. Martin Roscoe's technique withstands everything that the composer throws at it. He obviously belives in every note, as well he might' (The Sunday Times)

'Martin Roscoe demonstrates throughout this revealing double CD set [that Nielsen's piano music] is a canon of work that desperately needs attention … fantastic playing of compelling authority by one of Britain's finest pianists. A wonderful discovery' (The Herald)

Chaconne, Op 32
composer
1916/7; Tempo giusto; after Bach's Ciaconne for solo violin; FS79

Chaconne Op 32  [9'24]

Other recordings available for download
Mina Miller (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Nielsen himself confessed that his Chaconne Op 32 was modelled on the famous Bach work for solo violin. In a letter to his daughter, Irmelin Eggert-Møller, Nielsen revealed: ‘You know Bach’s delightful Ciaconne for solo violin, of course. If only I could reach his shoulders with mine for piano!’ The work begins with the eight-bar ground bass theme played alone in the left hand; this provides the basis for the whole piece. The right-hand melody which then emerges in counterpoint with the bass gradually develops, as the work evolves, into an independent countersubject. At times the figuration recalls the kind of writing associated with Bach’s solo violin music. For the most part, however, the variations are entirely pianistic in conception. Increasingly florid and delicate, the Chaconne briefly reaches a moment of hymn-like calm and repose before unleashing a shatteringly violent and dramatic central climax, with harsh dissonant chords hammered in both hands above a simplified version of the bass theme in the piano’s lowest register. As this climax eventually subsides, the countersubject returns, before a crystalline coda closes the work in the major key, the final page ascending ever higher into the upper register of the keyboard. Not so much a sense of transcendence, perhaps, as a gesture of perfect balance and stability.

from notes by Daniel Grimley © 2008


Other albums featuring this work
'Nielsen: Complete Piano Music' (CDA66231/2)
Nielsen: Complete Piano Music
CDA66231/2  2CDs Rights no longer controlled by Hyperion  

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