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Hyperion Records

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Macbeth and the Witches by Henry Fuseli (1741-1825)
The National Trust, Petworth House, Sussex
Track(s) taken from CDH55088
Recording details: June 1991
St Margaret's Church, Ilkley, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Release date: November 1991
Total duration: 9 minutes 37 seconds

‘This praiseworthy Hyperion disc certainly deserves the consideration of all serious devotees of English music’ (Gramophone)

‘67 minutes of delightful, ear-catching musical cameos’ (American Record Guide)

'A required purchase for Anglophiles' (Fanfare, USA)

'More precious evidence of the hidden riches of British music during the 19th century. A splendid collection' (CDReview)

Romeo and Juliet, Op 86

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The concert overture Romeo and Juliet, probably composed in the mid-1860s, was published in Leipzig a year after Pierson’s death and first heard in Britain at a Crystal Palace Saturday Concert. Whereas his symphonic poem Macbeth is provided with extensive stage directions and quotations, and his Schiller overture The Maid of Orleans prefaced by a detailed explanation of each section, Romeo and Juliet lacks any such guidance. Nevertheless it is not difficult to recognise Romeo himself in the brooding appassionato descending figure given to the lower strings and bassoon at the opening, and Juliet in the graceful, artless motif that follows. Stately tutti sections give a flavour of Verona’s rich festivities, and Romeo’s wooing of Juliet is also to be recognised in the many question-and-answer phrases. All this is expressed in short, pregnant musical ideas which follow one another at an almost disconcertingly kaleidoscopic speed. Pierson’s rhythmic variety and piquant use of the orchestra have sometimes been compared with that of Berlioz, and his music certainly exhibits a fresh, unfettered imagination that has earned him the reputation of one of the few avant-garde British composers of this period.

from notes by Hugh Priory © 1991

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