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Hyperion Records

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A Female Nude by a Lake (1907) by Karel Vitezslav Mašek (1865-1927)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDH55425
Recording details: November 1998
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner & Mike Dutton
Release date: November 1999
Total duration: 12 minutes 58 seconds

'Superlative. Immaculately and sensitively performed. Sound and presentation are superb. It would be hard to imagine one of music's most neglected byways illuminated with more pianistic ease and affection' (Gramophone)

'This is charming, formidably accomplished stuff. Hamelin gives impeccably stylish and sympathetic readings, as if he's been playing them since the cradle. Probably he has' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A fine conspectus of a captivating composer. Russian champagne of glowing vintage' (Classic CD)

'Un disque rempli de joie, de poésie et de lumière' (Le Devoir)

Quatre morceaux, Op 12
composer

Chant du soir  [3'28]
Méditation  [2'13]
Nocturne  [4'10]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This set of pieces is different from Catoire’s Op 10 in that the pieces seem not to have an underlying unity. The opening Chant du soir is one of Catoire’s greatest short pieces, a work so fine and direct in its emotional impact and compositional beauty that one may hope this recording will ensure it enters the repertoire at last. The Méditation has, within its brief structure, a wider mood than may be imagined, and the central section of the tripartite Nocturne embroiders the almost Chopinesque theme. The mention of Chopin—a distant influence—is not inappropriate in late nineteenth-century Russian music, for the Irish composer John Field, the inventor of the nocturne, a form that influenced Chopin, had settled in St Petersburg in 1803 and died in Moscow in 1837. The final piece, in G flat major, is another of Catoire’s most compelling and original studies.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1999

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