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Hyperion Records

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Townscape, Badacsony Hillside by Emil Parrag (b1925)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67871
Recording details: February 2011
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: January 2012
Total duration: 6 minutes 33 seconds

'The auspices are good even before you press the play button … a master pianist who has thoroughly immersed himself in the composer for years … a particularly happy start to the series' (Gramophone)

'Martin Roscoe performs these memorable virtuoso showpieces with tremendous panache and musical sensitivity … Roscoe's control of timbre is utterly magical … a charismatic and witty performance' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Works some of which are the most winning of the late Romantic era … Roscoe finds the ideal blend of lightness and broad lyrical sweep … a programme that refreshes some gorgeous, unjustly neglected music' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Roscoe's immaculate pianism, probing musical imagination and, above all, sympathy with Dohnányi's expressive ways and means make him the ideal interpreter for such a comprehensive retrospective' (International Record Review)

Pastorale 'Hungarian Christmas Song'
composer
1920; first performed by the composer in Budapest on 27 December 1920; based on the carol Mennyböl az angyal (The angel from heaven)

Other recordings available for download
Ernő Dohnányi (piano)
Ernő Dohnányi (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the period after World War I, Dohnányi began composing nationalist works. This included his Pastorale on a Hungarian Christmas Song, which he premiered in Budapest on 27 December 1920. Unlike the Four Rhapsodies, this work is based on a traditional Hungarian melody: the Christmas carol ‘Mennybol az angyal’ (The Angel from Heaven), a song about the angel who appeared before the shepherds to announce Jesus’s birth. Inspired by the southern Italian shepherds who play their music in the streets of Rome during Advent, Pastorales are often associated not only with country life but with Christmas itself. In keeping with the standard conventions for composing Pastorales, Dohnányi’s contribution to the genre features drones in the bass that imitate shepherds’ bagpipes and a lilting siciliana in the upper register that is reminiscent of shepherds’ shawms. The Hungarian Christmas Song finally enters during the repetition of the siciliana, as counterpoint to that melody. In addition to providing a suitable genre for setting a Christmas carol, the Pastorale once again aligns Dohnányi with earlier traditions. Other masterworks that use similar musical devices to evoke the nativity include the Pastorale from Corelli’s Christmas Concerto as well as the instrumental movements that introduce the angel’s proclamation in both Handel’s Messiah and J S Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

from notes by James A Grymes © 2012


Other albums featuring this work
'Dohnányi: Dohnányi plays Dohnányi' (APR7038)
Dohnányi: Dohnányi plays Dohnányi
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR7038  2CDs Download only  

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