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Hyperion Records

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Senecio (1922) by Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67870
Recording details: May 2012
City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by David Hinitt & Mike Panayiotis
Release date: June 2013
Total duration: 1 minutes 4 seconds

'The Concerto for piano and wind … places huge demands on soloist, conductor and also recording engineers, all of whom sail through unscathed by the technical problems and the difficult sonorities' (Gramophone)

'With Steven Osborne as soloist, the concertante works are in exceptionally good hands … after the Capriccio's grandiose opening, Osborne's tight control of the piano's insistent, driving textures provides a firm foundation for the opening movement's unexpected humanity and charm' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This superb disc on which Steven Osborne manifests both his rhythmic élan and his refined sense of tonal shading, underpinning the performances with virile energy … the string-orchestra Concerto in D and two pithy orchestral miniatures complete an outstanding album' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Osborne and Volkov judge them perfectly—keeping the Concerto, as well as the slightly later Capriccio, on a tight rein, and threading a lucid path through the thickets and intricacies of the Movements' (The Guardian)

'A wonderfully ebullient, rhythmically alert performance, and the recorded sound captures the work's utterly individual sonorities very well, with crystal clarity. Volkov's conducting has a drive and energy that matches Osborne's thrilling performance of the solo part … the Capriccio is only rarely heard in the concert hall, but it deserves to be played much more often, and from Osborne it receives the most persuasive advocacy. I don't think I've heard a more immediately engaging recording of the piece … the notes by Charles M Joseph are a mine of information and the recorded sound is excellent. Philippe Entremont and Stravinsky himself are impressive in the Concerto for piano and wind but Osborne and Volkov are lighter on their toes and theirs is a really splendid performance (I can't think of a better one on CD)' (International Record Review)

'This fine Stravinsky series … Steven Osborne plays all with diamantine brilliance' (The Sunday Times)

'The outstanding work here is the Concerto for piano and wind instruments, played by Osborne in a way that finds wit in the rhythmic quirks while lending substance to the music's 18th-century references … alert accompaniments from the BBC SSO under Ilan Volkov' (Financial Times)

Canon on a Russian Popular Tune
composer
1965; based on the Coronation theme from the 1910 ballet The Firebird; composed as a memorial to Pierre Monteux; originally titled Canon for Concert Introduction or Encore

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Written for full orchestra, including piano and harp, the Canon (on a Russian Popular Tune) is one of Stravinsky’s least-known works. The composer originally entitled the piece Canon for Concert Introduction or Encore in the manuscript copy. Written quickly in 1965, and constituting an interruption in the middle of composing the monumental Requiem Canticles, it is merely a minute in duration; but its brevity belies a fascinating web in the canonically intricate treatment of the famous ‘Coronation’ theme from the finale of the composer’s 1910 ballet The Firebird. Thematic inversions and augmentations of one of Stravinsky’s most memorable folk tunes abound as they snake their way through the separate strands of the orchestra. The switching back and forth between duple and triple time signatures provides a throwback to the alternating asymmetrical metres of the original ballet score. Stravinsky, who sometimes wrote little canons as gifts to his friends, composed the work as a memorial tribute to his old friend Pierre Monteux, who had died a year earlier.

from notes by Charles M Joseph © 2013

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