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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Adaptation of the cover illustration for Franz Bendel's Hommage à Chopin, Trautwein, Berlin (1867).
Track(s) taken from CDA67803
Recording details: August 2009
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: February 2010
Total duration: 5 minutes 48 seconds

'A fascinating collection, brilliantly dispatched by Plowright' (The Mail on Sunday)

'All of these multifaceted offerings (jewels as well as gemstones) show Jonathan Plowright as beguiling in intimacy … as he is magisterial in virtuosity. Such quality will leave lesser pianists bemused, as as on Plowright's earlier superb Hyperion recordings he has been immaculately recorded' (Gramophone)

'Mompou's 11th variation is the sublimest track on the disc. It is in places like these that Plowright shows his real qualities as a virtuoso, especially his clarity of texture and instinct for phrasing. Warmly recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Jonathan Plowright provides a fascinating conspectus of how Chopin’s example has sparked ideas in others … this disc is a delight' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Fascinating, seldom-trodden paths of the vast 19th- and 20th-century piano literature that rarely find their way onto disc … Plowright's dazzling playing can't be faulted' (The Sunday Times)

'Jonathan Plowright has assembled a towering monument to the Chopin style' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

Three Mazurkas, Op 32 No 1
begun in January 1940, remaining two added for the UNESCO concert in Paris on 3 October 1949 celebrating the Chopin centenary, at which only No 3 was performed

Allegro  [2'01]
Allegretto  [1'51]
Allegro  [1'56]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Sir Lennox Berkeley (1903–1989) became acquainted with Honegger during his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris between 1927 and 1932. He also studied with Ravel, who was a key influence on his music; so too was Chopin, alluded to in his Three Pieces Op 2 (for piano), especially the central ‘Berceuse’, the Four Concert Studies Op 14 No 1, and more overtly in the Three Mazurkas Op 32 No 1. In January 1940, Berkeley wrote to his then friend Benjamin Britten: ‘Since I finished the Serenade [for strings] I’ve been working on some Piano Studies. They’re real virtuoso music—I can’t play a bar of them. I’ve also written a Mazurka, which I think you’d like.’ It was not until 1949 that he added two more, when along with eleven other composers he was invited by UNESCO to contribute to a concert in Paris on 3 October 1949 to celebrate the Chopin centenary. Though only the third Mazurka was played on that occasion, it opened proceedings.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010

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