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Hyperion Records

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Home sweet home by Henry Dunkin Shepherd (fl1885-1891)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDH55410
Recording details: October 2002
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: May 2003
Total duration: 3 minutes 2 seconds

'[Martin] plays poetically throughout, and this for me is an unmissable collection' (The Mail on Sunday)

'You may wonder when you last heard such beguiling, fine-toned fluency … this is a delectable disc finely recorded' (Gramophone)

'Played by Philip Martin with winning insouciance' (The Independent)

'Martin makes for a sensitive, sympathetic guide … this release is a veritable treasure trove for the pianophile' (International Record Review)

'A repertoire that makes for a welcome family evening around the piano; alas for us all that we cannot offer renderings of such sympathetic finesse and lyrical elegance as are here set down by Philip Martin ‘at home’' (Classic FM)

'This repertoire is as delightful to listen to as it is to play … perfect evening listening' (Classic FM Magazine)

'If you’ve ever struggled through Badarzewska’s Maiden’s Prayer, tripped yourself up in Dvořák’s Humoresque in G flat, or wondered how the simple lines of MacDowell’s To a wild rose would sound in capable, smooth-contoured professional hands, this is the disc for you' (The Irish Times)

'Philip Martin is a pianist of great intelligence and much innate musicality; and the excellence of the recording is the final element in the equation for success' (MusicWeb International)

'77 minutes de bonheur pur sucre pour nous faire oublier la morosité de la rentrée!' (Répertoire, France)

La coquette – valse brillante

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Victor Herbert (1859–1924), one of the great names of American light music, is remembered today (if at all) for his light operettas, the most successful of which were Babes in Toyland (1903), inspired by The Wizard of Oz, and Naughty Marietta (1910) which includes the deathless ‘Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life’. In his earlier career, the Dublin-born composer had been a virtuoso cellist. Herbert’s playing of his Cello Concerto No 2 (1894) was an event which directly inspired Dvorák to write his own concerto masterpiece for the instrument.

Few, though, will ever have heard Herbert’s instrumental works. Heifetz was attracted to his À la valse, recorded in the 1940s, and another violinist, Maud Powell, made a disc of another Herbert waltz—Petite Valse (originally for cello)—in 1916, the year after its composition. Otherwise little has ever been committed to disc. Here is a third waltz, one of Herbert’s twenty-four compositons for solo piano. La coquette – valse brillante was written in 1900, light relief after a string of ten full-length stage works written in the space of six years. It’s an attractive morceau (in A flat with a central section in C major) that makes one curious to hear others, especially the intriguingly titled La Ghazel, Marion Davies March, Get Together, On Your Way and Valse à la mode, the last three written under the pseudonym of Nobel MacClure.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2003

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