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Hyperion Records

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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: 21 minutes 17 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)

Variations sur un thème de Chopin
composer
based on Chopin's Prelude in A major, Op 28 No 7

Theme: Andantino  [0'38]
Lento  [1'28]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The theme of the twelve Variations sur un thème de Chopin by the Spanish/Catalan composer Federico Mompou (1893–1987) is the little A major Prelude Op 28 No 7. All but two of the variations, Nos 7 (Allegro leggiero) and 12 (Galope y epílogo), retain the character of the original, their lucid textures and conservative harmonies beguiling the ear. Free from cynicism and knowing comments, Mompou’s music offers us, in the words of Stephen Hough, the ‘magic of childhood … [his] eyes are wide open, sparkling like a child’s, and his smile has all the surprise and enthralment of Creation itself’. No better examples can be found than Variation 3 (for the left hand alone), Variation 4 (almost begging to have lyrics attached), the achingly touching Variation 8 (surely modeled on Chopin’s E minor Prelude) and Variation 10, which quotes the central section of the Fantasy Impromptu.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010

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