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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: 7 minutes 46 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 préludes, Op 17
composer
dedicated to Leo Conus

Andante  [1'45]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Catoire, exceptional amongst Russian pianist-composers, did not complete a set of 24 Preludes. The four Preludes of his Op 17 are, like the pieces of Op 12, self-contained, and are dedicated to Leo Conus, another of the musical brothers. The first, in G sharp minor, is in the manner of a wistful slow waltz; and the second, in G major, is perhaps not unlike a Rachmaninov fragment. The third, in C minor—marked ‘Andante dramatico’ (sic—it should of course be ‘drammatico’)—is more extensive, suggesting a hidden programme. The diminuendo coda is notably imaginative. The fourth, in B flat—ending in the minor mode—is only twenty-eight bars long, but Catoire’s remarkable contrapuntal mastery, the lines seemingly independent but magically woven together, shows this composer at the height of his powers.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1999

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