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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67515
Recording details: June 2004
Das Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Dobbiaco, Italy
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: February 2006
Total duration: 7 minutes 11 seconds

'As to Hewitt's performances, they are as affectionate, warm, lyrical and charming as one could wish, underlining but not exaggerating Chabrier's deliciously predictable unpredictability' (Gramophone)

'Hewitt is at her best here, teasing out the yearning harmonies and shy cadences with a persuasive rubato' (BBC Music Magazine)

'It is very fresh-face playing, bringing out, also, Chabrier's acknowledged debt to the French Baroque keyboard giants, while even Bach seems to hang over the gigue-like Scherzo-valse … wit and charm are in abundance' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Angela Hewitt, in one of her best recordings to date, has captured Chabrier's musical spirit perfectly' (International Record Review)

'Pianists have missed some treats by neglecting Chabrier’s piano music. Angela Hewitt plays this refreshing selection with the same poetry, elegance and dancing touch that made her other French discs for Hyperion so special. The ten Pièces pittoresques take pride of place: dominated by sunshine, delightfully frisky rhythms and an early French Impressionist haze. Fed up of grey skies? Buy this disc and it’s already spring' (The Times)

'If you don't know Chabrier's piano music, then this is an ideal selection of his best (and best-known) works played with exactly the right amount of tenderness, Gallic wit, verve, and—the most important ingredient of all—charm' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hewitt is in excellent form throughout … well worth it, I'd say' (Fanfare, USA)

'In terms of recording, performance, and production, another success for the Hewitt-Hyperion collaboration' (MusicWeb International)

'Perhaps Angela Hewitt's freshly minted, sharply honed interprestations will inspire recitalists to dust off these unsung treasures' (ClassicsToday.com)

Impromptu
composer
1873

Impromptu  [7'11]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Impromptu, published in 1873, was the first significant work. Unlike many composers, whose early works betray quite legitimate influences, Chabrier is immediately himself. It is a classical piece constructed in three parts, the third of which reprises the first, and concludes with a coda. His personality is present in every bar. To begin with note the brief, capricious Spanish-like rhythmic element, which serves as an introduction and reappears at the end of the work. A passage then follows which could be described as the first subject, a sort of tender and syncopated waltz that is followed abruptly by a basically rhythmic second episode, full of typical Chabrier-like dissonances. The second section, charming and languid, is twice interrupted by a sarcastic element, as if Chabrier were ashamed of being sentimental. Again we note syncopated swaying rhythms. The first section is then repeated, followed by a very poetic coda marked ‘with great sweetness’ which restates the theme of the opening section. After a final sarcastic pirouette the work ends on an arpeggio that Chabrier requires to be played ‘with delicacy’. This Impromptu, dedicated to Mme Édouard Manet, was first performed by Camille Saint-Saëns in 1877.

from notes by Jean-Paul Sévilla © 2006
English: Roland Smithers

Other albums featuring this work
'Chabrier: Piano Music' (SACDA67515)
Chabrier: Piano Music
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