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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67859
Recording details: January 2011
City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon & Dave Rowell
Release date: October 2011
Total duration: 19 minutes 13 seconds

'Rosefield plays with disarming character and freshness; her technique, too, is enviably sure and tone beguilingly rounded … admirable sound and truthful balance; another Hyperion winner!' (Gramophone)

'Stanford's sturdy, Brahmsian Cello Concerto and the folksong-rich third Irish Rhapsody are the highlights here, superbly played by Gemma Rosefield' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The [Ballata and Ballabile] shows Stanford at his most elegant and melodious … the performance is refined and strongly characterised by Rosefield and the orchestral accompaniment under Andrew Manze is well caught in the lucid and warm recording. Anyone with an interest in Stanford should hear this most attractive disc, presenting an aspect of his output that is all but unknown and given committed advocacy here' (International Record Review)

'The cello writing is superbly idiomatic, the orchestration deft and imaginatively coloured … Gemma Rosefield obviously has the technique to burn and is sensitive to mood and atmosphere … Andrew Manze brings unexpected authority to proceedings' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Rosefield plays Stanford's music with a real feeling for period style, using graceful portamentos and displaying a deep lyricism … Rosefield's solo entry in the Cello Concerto is immediately notable for its graceful, delicate phrasing … her tone is full but not forceful … [she] never sacrifices beauty of tone in the bravura passages, and her playing of the Irish Rhapsody No 3 exudes tenderness' (The Strad)

'The giant is the well-crafted Cello Concerto in D minor, which cellist Gemma Rosefield plays with warm-hearted poeticism and unfussy sensibility … Rosefield, with impeccable support from Andrew Manze and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, makes an equally good case for the Rondo in F, the lyrical Ballata and Ballabile, and the melancholic Irish Rhapsody' (The Scotsman)

Ballata and Ballabile, Op 160
full score dated 5 January 1918; composed for Beatrice Harrison; first performed by Harrison and Hamilton Harty's in Stanford cello & piano arrangement on 3 May 1919 at the Wigmore Hall in London; orchestral version first performed on 8 August 1988

Ballata  [10'48]
Ballabile  [8'25]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The autograph full score of the Ballata and Ballabile Op 160 is dated 5 January 1918 and was written at Windsor where, as as result of the German bombing of London, Stanford spent much of the war to calm his nerves. It was composed for the young British cellist Beatrice Harrison, who was to become famous for her first performances of Delius’s Cello Sonata (31 October 1918) and Double Concerto (with her sister violinist, May, in 1920). The Ballata, a sonorous movement in the minor which recalls the pensive, folk-like material of Schumann’s ‘Im Legendenton’, exploits the cello’s singing capacity to the full, especially in the warm, central diatonic theme. The jaunty, elegant waltz of the opening idea of the Ballabile in triple time provides a gentle, euphonious foil to the Ballata, but it is contrasted with a broader secondary theme which, in the orchestra, evolves into an overtly romantic idiom, much more reminiscent of the early twentieth century. Stanford’s beautifully conceived sonata structure also has a delicious, classical poise that is coloured by delicately controlled eccentricities of modulation and changes of metre. The work was first performed in an arrangement by the composer for cello and piano by Harrison and Hamilton Harty (soon to become conductor of the Hallé Orchestra) at Wigmore Hall in London on 3 May 1919. This version, like the original orchestral version, remained unpublished, and a first performance of the orchestral version had to wait until 8 August 1988 when it was recorded in a BBC Northern Ireland studio performance by Raphael Wallfisch with the Ulster Orchestra conducted by Lionel Friend. It was later broadcast by the BBC on Radio 3 on 26 January 1990.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 2011

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