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Hyperion Records

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Portrait of Piers Lane by John Beard (b1943)
www.johnbeardart.com
Track(s) taken from CDA67967
Recording details: June 2012
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: September 2013
Total duration: 4 minutes 39 seconds

'This superbly recorded disc (played on a gorgeously voiced Steinway) is Lane's love letter to the piano. I wish more pianists would share their guilty pleasures like this' (Gramophone)

'Lane in wonderful, debonair mode here, sparkling through a personal encore selection from Jamaican Rumba to a Toccata by his own father, and from Myra Hess to Dudley Moore' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Puts smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes … Katharine Parker's Down Longford Way grows from an Ivor Novello-like charm into an opulently Romantic piece of striking contrast and colour, indeed the perfect choice with which to launch the disc. The playing throughout is first-class: witty where it needs to be, reflective and joyous elsewhere … Lane is a dynamic, insightful pianist who is able to bring a new perspective to the repertoire. His renditions of the Grainger and Bach / Hess pieces are quite beautiful, and in Mayerl's Marigold I can hardly imagine a more heartfelt account' (International Record Review)

'Piers Lane, one of the most versatile pianists around, presents many sides of himself in a selection of pieces that may seem topsy-turvy, incongruous even, but there are some wonderful and brilliant things here to be re-united with or discovered, and each piece is superbly played, with complete identification, and beautifully recorded too—just like a piano should sound, with all of Lane’s colours, dynamics and inflections faithfully relayed' (ClassicalSource.com)

Ballerina
composer
1949; commissioned by William Rose as a present for his wife Tania; an early version, and title, of Columbine (1951)

Ballerina  [4'39]

Introduction
Ballerina by John Ireland (1879–1962) may sound familiar, but this is in fact the first recording of a piece published only after the recording sessions. It is the early version of Ireland’s Columbine (1951), originally called Impromptu, a title its composer disliked. For its recent publication it was renamed Ballerina, a working title used by Ireland on one of his sketches for the piece, now held in the British Library. It was originally commissioned in 1949 by the American screenwriter William Rose (Genevieve, The Ladykillers, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?) as a present for his wife Tania (née Price). Ireland reworked it before its publication as Columbine two years later. Alan Bush, the trenchant British composer who studied with Ireland from 1927 to 1932, used to play this early version and preferred it to the revised Columbine, which he described as bowdlerized! After a performance I gave in Milan of Ireland’s Piano Concerto, Bruce Phillips, Director of The John Ireland Charitable Trust, asked me what other Ireland I was performing for the fiftieth anniversary of the composer’s death. I mentioned this recording and the possibility of including the delicious ‘valse lente’ Columbine; it was he who suggested I might consider Ballerina instead.

from notes by Piers Lane 2013

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