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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67348
Recording details: May 2002
Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: October 2003
Total duration: 11 minutes 21 seconds

'Stephen Coombs savours the more exotic keyboard writing with confidence and a sure sense of style, contributing appropriately dazzling and light-fingered virtuosity when required' (International Record Review)

'This is the greatest thing since ice cream! … Coombs and conductor Ronald Corp catch the concerto's sly leg-pull and puff the airy graciousness suffusing these youthful pieces with soufflé-like savoir faire' (Fanfare, USA)

'Every track on this disc is an absolute winner. Stephen Coombs revels in the myriad of notes that tear around the keyboard in such light-hearted mood, the pro-active orchestral partnership captured in a superb recording' (Yorkshire Post)

Fantaisie-Ballet in B flat major, Op 6
composer

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Fantaisie-Ballet Op 6 was Pierné’s first work for piano and orchestra. Written in 1885 it is essentially a suite of connected movements. A work of glittering virtuosity, the piano part bristles with every conceivable difficulty. It is dedicated to the pianist Caroline Montigny-Rémaury, a famous virtuoso and friend of Saint-Saëns, with whom she played duets. She was also the sister-in-law of the influential Ambroise Thomas, Director of the Paris Conservatoire. She is perhaps best remembered today as the dedicatee of Saint-Saëns’ Caprice-valse Wedding cake Op 76 – a work written on the occasion of her marriage in 1885, when she became Madame Caroline de Serres. Pierné’s dedication gives both Caroline’s married and maiden names and, although it is possible that the twenty-two year old Pierné personally knew the celebrated pianist, it seems likely that this is a case of Pierné imitating Saint-Saëns with his own ‘wedding cake’.

from notes by Stephen Coombs İ 2003

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