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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67165
Recording details: December 2000
Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Release date: March 2001
Total duration: 23 minutes 9 seconds

'Technically impeccable … vivid and well produced' (Gramophone)

'[Tanyel] can totally identify with this kind of post-Lisztian lyric bravura style' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The piano writing exudes scintillation and brilliance and seems custom-made for Seta Tanyel's lush, colourful sonority and effortless leggiero fingerwork' (International Record Review)

'Seta Tanyel's thoughtful and richly coloured new performances make a distinguished addition to the catalog … a winner. Strongly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'Vol. 25 in this Hyperion series deserves to become a best-seller' (Hi-Fi News)

'The Piano Concerto No 2 is a barnstorming, big-hearted, tune-filled warhorse of a piece that audiences would love if they heard it' (Punch)

Second Modern Suite, Op 14
composer

Fugato  [2'10]
Rhapsodie  [6'41]
Scherzino  [2'22]
Marsch  [3'47]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
With Liszt’s active recommendation and encouragement, MacDowell saw his first compositions published—the First Modern Suite, Op 10, dedicated to Mrs Joachim Raff, appeared in 1882. Much of the Second Suite was composed in railway carriages while MacDowell was travelling between Frankfurt and Darmstadt in order to give lessons, occasionally venturing on to Erbach-Furstenau. MacDowell, who himself wrote much poetry, was much influenced by the English and German Romantics of the day and the score of the Second Modern Suite is headed by a quotation from Byron’s Manfred:

By a power to thee unknown
Thou canst never be alone;
Thou art wrapt as with a shroud
Thou art gather’d in a cloud
And forever shalt thou dwell
In the spirit of this spell.

There is little in these six movements that reveals an unmistakable and individual voice—the music is too run-through with references to the masters whose music MacDowell had studied assiduously—but the themes are so attractive, the writing for the instrument so completely masterful that the Suite can easily worm its way into one’s affections. The ‘Zweite moderne Suite’ is thoroughly Teutonic from the separate titles of its movements to their musical language—the arresting ‘Fugato’ and its clear nod to Raff (who always saw fit to include a fugue in his own suites), the ‘Rhapsodie’ with its echoes of early Brahms, and the Schumannesque ‘Scherzino’, ‘March’ (Raff also liked to have a march somewhere) and ‘Phantasie-Tanz’.

Teresa Carreño gave the American premiere in New York (8 March 1884) and toured three movements (which three?) of it in the following year.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001

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