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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Front illustration by Roland Piper (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDH55454
Recording details: April 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Amanda Hurton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: June 2002
Total duration: 4 minutes 21 seconds

'Musically enchanting fare … everything is played with unfaltering command … the recording and presentation are immaculate' (Gramophone)

'Inspired re-creations … strongly recommended to connoisseur and newcomer alike … Grainger's eclectic, idiosyncratic piano transcriptions, despatched with light-fingered clarity. Strauss swoons, Stephen Foster's all of a tingle. Excellent notes, too' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A delight from start to finish' (The Observer)

'Beautiful tone and colours … playing of real beauty in the two exquisite Fauré arrangements' (International Record Review)

'Salon esprit without sentimentality and with a touch of humor and poetry: what more could one ask from this music?' (American Record Guide)

'Heroic stamina by Piers Lane' (The Times)

'A charming recital, beautifully played and recorded' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Lane boasts a fabulous technique … succulent performances' (Fanfare, USA)

'A fine selection … an easy listen that often delights the ear' (Pianist)

'This disc moves into the fruitful territory of Percy Grainger’s piano transcriptions, allowing Piers Lane to indulge in flights of virtuosic fantasy and reveal the emotional breadth of these works' (Music Week)

‘Piers Lane rises to this repertoire’s not-inconsiderable challenges in a judiciously programmed and brilliantly executed recital’ (

'It is one of those CDs where surprise comes on surprise. Great fun' (Essex Chronicle)

‘Piers Lane concilie le panache avec une sensibilité très vive’ (Diapason, France)

'Le pianiste joue franc jeu et rend un bel hommage au compositeur' (Le Monde de la Musique, France)

The Carman's Whistle 'Air and Variations', BK36

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Carman’s Whistle (Air and Variations) by William Byrd is a sequence of eight variations on a popular sixteenth-century tune. Grainger makes it the basis of his concert arrangement (omitting the first variation), filling out the texture with added octaves to the original composition for virginals, but leaving unchanged much of the original harmony and ornamentation. The ‘Carman’ of the title refers to the itinerant traders of the time known as ‘carmen’ or ‘carters’. Chappell, in his Old English Popular Music, states that the carmen of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were famous for their musical abilities, in particular for their ability to whistle tunes—especially effective, he remarks, in the management of horses. Byrd’s tune is also associated with several ballads which Chappell found ‘not suitable for publication’ in his book, owing to their salacious content.

from notes by Barry Peter Ould © 2002

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