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Hyperion Records

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The Plough Team (detail) by Alfred Weczerzick (1864-1952)
Private Collection / Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55416
Recording details: December 2003
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2004
Total duration: 16 minutes 36 seconds

'Lovely fare, performed with great polish and heartwarming dedication by The Nash Ensemble, and all cleanly captured by the microphones. This disc will surely provide much pleasure' (Gramophone)

'All of the performances on this excellently recorded disc are exemplary' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Nash Ensemble play these richly rewarding works with style and feeling' (The Independent)

'This is Suk viewed from the 'dark side' and very much more impressive than he usually sounds. Brown balances the introspective sensibility and dramatic onward surge of this music to perfection, and his distinguished colleagues follow him every inch of the way. Enhanced by yet another first-rate Andrew Keener production, this exceptional release comes highly recommended' (International Record Review)

'Dazzlingly violinistic and brilliantly played by Marianne Thorsen and Ian Brown' (The Sunday Times)

'The Nash Ensemble plays with all its customary skill and insight, highlighted by the remarkable pianism of Ian Brown' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Even if the recordings featuring violinist Josef Suk (the composer's grandson) were easier to find, these fresh-sounding, light-textured Nash Ensemble interpretations would hold their own in the catalog. Excellent engineering and informative notes too. A magnificent release' (Fanfare, USA)

Four Pieces for violin and piano, Op 17
Spring 1900; dedicated to Karel Hoffmann

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Four Pieces for violin and piano Op 17 were composed in the spring of 1900 and dedicated to Karel Hoffmann, a fellow violinist in the Czech Quartet. The structure of these movements is simple, but their wide-ranging rhetoric proclaims a clearly sophisticated compositional temperament. The first movement, beginning with near-Impressionist colouring, also embraces extravagant romantic gestures in its central section. There is a hint of the national accent in the emphatic cross-rhythms which characterize the outer sections of the Appassionato second movement; these frame a passage of rapt lyricism entirely typical of Suk’s early maturity. This tendency is echoed in the intense opening of the third movement, although once again Suk, somewhat in the manner of alternation favoured by Dvorák in his Dumka movements, mingles seriousness with a brisker style of writing owing something to the Polka. The finale adopts the manner of a perpetuum mobile, drawing in a pastiche of the Classical manner amid the instrumental pyrotechnics.

from notes by Jan Smaczny © 2004

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