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Hyperion Records

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Four Trees (detail) (1917) by Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
Track(s) taken from CDH55411
Recording details: December 1996
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Amanda Hurton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: October 1997
Total duration: 28 minutes 39 seconds

'A superb recital … provoking astonishment that music of such quality could have lain neglected for so long. No praise could be high enough for Piers Lane whose playing throughout is of a superb musical intelligence, sensitivity and scintillating brilliance' (Gramophone)

'Piers Lane surpasses himself, and the recorded sound is delicious' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A total triumph. Another important addition to the piano discography from enterprising Hyperion' (Classic CD)

'Some fascinating music. If 1998 produces a finer piano disc, I shall be astonished. Buy it!' (Musical Opinion)

Acht Klavierstücke, Op 5
composer
published in 1884

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Acht Klavierstücke of Op 5 are beautifully shaped, understated, passionate and tender by turns, yet they avoid sentimentality. They are conceived as one form, keys alternating between minor and major, No 1 in C sharp minor linked to No 8, likewise in C sharp minor, but ending with a minor/major oscillation to mirror the work’s structure. There are many such structural links between the pieces: the middle section of No 8 is an A major version of the opening of No 1, the coda a quaver alternative of No 1’s opening semiquaver theme. No 5 in E flat major ends in a suspended B flat, resolving, attacca, into No 6’s E flat minor. The Langsamer ending of this piece recalls the major opening of No 5—doubling the values of the opening left-hand octaves. Many emotional nuances inflect these charming offerings. However, the German influence is undoubted—Schubertian, perhaps, in No 3, Brahmsian overall. D’Albert had already worked on the Paganini Variations and the D minor Concerto. Brahms had published his Op 76 Intermezzi and Capricci in 1879, and his Op 79 Rhapsodies in 1880—these were undoubtedly known to and played by d’Albert and their influence is fairly obvious.

from notes by Piers Lane © 1997

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