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Track(s) taken from CDA67328

Piano Sonata No 3, Op 18

composer

Hamish Milne (piano)
Recording details: October 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: May 2002
Total duration: 15 minutes 39 seconds
 
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Reviews

'Hamish Milne’s poetic insight comes as no surprise … This is rather a find … Civilised, rewarding listening, warmly recommended to anyone for whom aesthetic novelty matters less than purely musical value' (Gramophone)

'Sumptuous recording, with brilliant and thoughtful playing by Hamish Milne … Piano enthusiasts looking for new material – especially those interested in Russian music – will certainly enjoy this' (American Record Guide)

'This is altogether exceptional playing … it made me want to dust down my two volumes of Alexandrov's music and take them straight to the piano to find out what other treasures they have in store. May it please be the first of several' (International Record Review)

'Hamish Milne, on this new Hyperion release is a persuasive advocate for this music … Recommended? But of course, and let’s hope that more Alexandrov appears, and soon' (Fanfare, USA)

'Imagine a cab ride where the driver is in the same league as Formula One driver Michael Schumacher. There’s something similar to be said for this Hyperion release, in which we have the privilege to hear a forgotten but phenomenal composer through the mind of such a distinguished and world-class pianist as Hamish Milne' (Pianist)

'Milne expounds all this music … with evident affection and belief, and with all the musicality and technical mastery it demands, in an absolutely first-rate recording' (International Piano)

'Hamish Milne believes in this music 125 percent, and he sails through the composer’s daunting challenges with complete technical command and a gorgeous tone to match' (ClassicsToday.com)

'On a envie de remercier le pianiste Hamish Milne pour son interprétation magnifique, très soignée, et surtout pour nous permettre de découvrir une musique aussi belle, doucement expressive et envoûtante’ (Répertoire, France)
Alexandrov’s Third Sonata, Op 18, was written in 1920 and twice revised by the composer, in 1956 and 1967. One of its first interpreters was Maria Yudina. In his 1923 review of this sonata Zhilyayev drew attention to the enormously increased importance it had on contemporary Russian music, and placed Alexandrov not alongside but ‘immediately behind such great modern Russian composers as Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Medtner’. The brooding style of the third sonata and the way that the Interlude (tonally strongly reminiscent of Rachmaninov) is integrated into the one-movement structure, along with many other details, all reflect the influence of Medtner – and as with Medtner, the way the material develops is given more prominence than the melodic elements which only come into their own in the Interlude. Myaskovsky – who more keenly than Alexandrov but likewise following Medtner strove for intellectual concentration, thematic tightness and conflicting structures – was therefore perhaps wrong to have described Alexandrov too exclusively as an idyllic lyrical composer:

Anatoly Alexandrov is in actual fact a lyrical composer; his poetry is deeply honest and at the same time exquisitely formed, a veil of dreaminess hangs over it which never, however, degenerates into melancholic or elegiac sentimentality. He is a lyrical pantheist who harbours a great love of the world. He strives for light, sun and, above all, the idyllic – which does not at times exclude mystery and immensity.

from notes by Christoph Flamm © 2002
English: Roland Smithers

La Troisième Sonate d’Alexandrov fut composée en 1920 et révisé deux fois par le compositeur, en 1956 et en 1967. Maria Yudina fut l’une de ses premières interprètes. De la version de 1923 de cette sonate, Zhilyayev dira qu’elle influence sans pareil la musique russe contemporaine et placera Alexandrov non pas avec mais immédiatement derrière d’autres compositeurs russes comme Prokofiev, Stravinsky et Medtner. Le style songeur de la troisième sonate, la manière dont l’Interlude est intégré à la structure à un mouvement (rappelant Rachmaninov dans les tonalités) et bien d’autres détails reflètent l’influence de Medtner. Comme chez Medtner, la manière dont le morceau se développe reçoit plus d’emphase que les éléments mélodiques eux-mêmes, qui n’interviennent en tant que tels que dans l’Interlude. Myaskovsky qui, encore plus qu’Alexandrov et à l’instar de Medtner, s’évertuait à faire preuve de concentration intellectuelle, d’échanges motif/thème et de structures conflictuelles, eut peut-être tort de décrire Alexandrov comme étant exclusivement un compositeur lyrique idyllique :

Anatoly Alexandrov est en fait un compositeur lyrique ; sa poésie est profondément honnête et en même temps exquise dans sa forme, un voile songeur flotte au-dessus d’elle, qui jamais ne devient mélancolie ni poème élégiaque. Voici un panthéiste lyrique qui nourrit un amour profond du monde. Il recherche la lumière, le soleil, et par dessus tout, l’idyllique qui n’exclut pas le mystère et l’immensité.

extrait des notes rédigées par Christoph Flamm © 2002
Français: Marie Luccheta

Alexandrows 3. Sonate op. 18 entstand 1920 und wurde vom Komponisten zweimal revidiert (1956 und 1967). Zu ihren frühen Interpreten zählte Maria Judina. In seiner Rezension dieser Sonate hob Shiljajew 1923 Alexandrows mit diesem Werk enorm gestiegene Bedeutung für die zeitgenössische russische Musik hervor und stellte diesen zwar nicht neben, doch »unmittelbar hinter solch große zeitgenössische russische Komponisten wie Prokofjew, Strawinsky und Medtner«. Die grüblerische Haltung der 3. Sonate, ihr in die Einsätzigkeit integriertes Interludium (das klanglich stark an Rachmaninow gemahnt) und zahlreiche gestische Details sind deutliche Reflexe von Medtner, und wie bei diesem steht der evolutionäre Aspekt des Materials im Vordergrund vor melodischen Gewißheiten, die hier nur in der Parenthese des Interludiums aufscheinen. Daher mag Mjaskowski – der schärfer als Alexandrow, aber ebenfalls in Anlehnung an Medtner gedankliche Konzentration, motivisch-thematische Dichte und konflikthafte Strukturen erstrebte – Alexandrow vielleicht zu ausschließlich als lyrischen Idylliker verklärt haben:

Eigentlich ist Anatol Alexandrow Lyriker; seine Lyrik ist tief aufrichtig und zugleich von auserlesener Form, ein Schatten der Verträumtheit liegt darüber, der aber nirgends in melancholische Empfindsamkeit oder Elegie ausartet. Er ist lyrischer Pantheist, der eine große Liebe zur ganzen Welt hegt. Er strebt zum Licht, zur Sonne und vor allem zur Idylle, was für Augenblicke das Geheimnisvolle, Grenzenlose nicht ausschließt.

aus dem Begleittext von Christoph Flamm © 2002

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