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Hyperion Records

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Landscape with a Traveller (c1921) by Eugeniusz Zak (1884-1926)
Track(s) taken from CDA67886
Recording details: March 2013
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: February 2014
Total duration: 14 minutes 3 seconds

'Karol Szymanowski was never a concert virtuoso but knew the piano inside out, writing music that, despite its often complex textures, is always beautifully laid out for the hands. The three Métopes from 1915 recall ‘the leavening, salutary influence of Ravel’s and Debussy’s weightless, diaphanous textures’ (to quote Francis Pott in his booklet-note) and rely ‘upon a performer of fastidious polyphonic instincts and acute subtlety’ … one can have no reservations about Cédric Tiberghien’s playing throughout this absorbing disc' (Gramophone) » More

'Few players of this music combine quite such clarity and articulation with shimmering sparkle and virtuosic flair: this is sophisticated pianism … The most famous of these Scriabinesque pieces, the sorrowful and haunting No 3 in B flat minor, was made popular by Paderewski, and Tiberghien’s performance explains its enduring appeal … you will be left wanting to listen again' (BBC Music Magazine) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING

'The remarkably gifted French pianist Cédric Tiberghien has all the wherewithal to combat the hazards of articulation, and, more than that, he has a sharp ear for characterisation in an idiom that on occasion is haunted by images of Debussy and Scriabin but has an expressive pungency all its own … Tiberghien’s definition of atmosphere and affinity with Szymanowski’s imagination and language give his performances a mesmerising, scintillating power and colour' (The Daily Telegraph) » More

'Whatever Szymanowski demands, Tiberghien delivers without a moment of strain or fakery … Tiberghien’s intellectual and emotional grasp of Szymanowski’s idiom allows him to light on a fully convincing balance of the music’s competing elements. The results are fragrant but never cloying, intricate but never convoluted; and he’s never thrown off by the music’s quirky syntax or its shifting metres. Timbrally, the playing is consistently gorgeous, too, tonally ravishing even at the quietest dynamic levels: listen, for instance, as ‘Shéhérazade’, the first of the three Masques, fades away to inaudibility. Consistently gorgeous but far from uniform in tone of voice' (International Record Review) » More

'More exciting piano playing awaits in Cédric Tiberghien’s recital of études and character pieces from the early 20th century by the Polish magician Szymanowski. This kaleidoscopic, richly perfumed music requires an extremely delicate touch and an ability to dart over all parts of the keyboard at the same time. No problem for Tiberghien: in L’île des Sirènes from the set of Métopes, the notes’ liquid flow made my jaw drop and my knees give way. Be prepared: Szymanowski in Tiberghien’s hands is a potent drug indeed' (The Times) » More

'This young Frenchman proves a persuasive advocate for a representative selection of piano works, from the Romantic, Chopin-inspired Op 4 Etudes (1900-02) to three collections written during the First World War that show the marked influence of late Liszt, Debussy and Ravel, especially the impressionist portraits of Szymanowski's masterpiece, Métopes' (The Sunday Times) » More

'The pianist Cédric Tiberghien offers a colorful, virtuosic traversal through some of Szymanowski’s rhapsodic piano scores, including the characterful, fiery études and the more languid Métopes' (The New York Times)

'Cédric Tïberghien, déjà remarquable dans l’œuvre pour violon et piano avec Alina Ibragimova (Diapason d'or, cf. no S71), relève sans la moindre faiblesse les défis techniques—Szymanowski est redoutable pour les doigts. Dans les deux triptyques, il souligne la filiation lisztienne, souvent négligée, par un piano généreux, orchestral. Grâce à un respect scrupuleux des infinies nuances d’expression ou d’agogique, la ligueur formelle s’unit à liberté rhapsodique, la sensualité des couleurs à la mobilité des rythmes—signature de Szymanowski. Langueurs capiteuses de Schéhérazde, grimaces douloureuses ele Tantris le bouffon, cyclothymie névrotique de la Sérénade de Don Juan, rien de l’esprit de Masques ne lui échappe. Dans Métopes, il exalte les jeux d'eaux de L'Ile des sirènes, les séductions capiteuses de Calypso (deux pages également marquées par l'inimitable Richter. Decca), les mouvements chorégraphiques, grâce ou transe, de Nausicaa. Au-delà de la virtuosité, les Etudes op 33 s’apparentent bien à des pièces d’atmosphète. À des improvisations fantasques où Tïberghien sait creuser du mystère' (Diapason, France) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING

4 Études, Op 4
composer
1900/2; dedicated to Tala Neuhaus

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Szymanowski’s Four Études, Op 4, were composed between 1900 and 1902. Before his Warsaw studies Szymanowski had attended the music school of his father’s cousin, Gustav Neuhaus, at Elisavetgrad, in what is now Ukraine. He dedicated these pieces to Tala (Natalia) Neuhaus, a lifelong friend. The harmonic and melodic inflections of early Scriabin are especially noticeable in the first Étude, in E flat minor, though not the distilled, evanescent brevity also characteristic of him. The second Étude, in G flat major, simultaneously divides groups of six semiquavers into subsets of both two and three to create an Escher-like, dizzying sense of conflicting perceptions. The B flat minor third Étude, which in posterity has achieved some independent fame, presents a sorrowful cantilena above slow repeating chords, rising to an imposing climactic restatement of the principal idea before reaching a sombre but subdued conclusion. The last Étude of the group offers a tantalizing glimpse of a far more tangential approach to tonality, juxtaposing hints of C major and A flat minor at the outset and launching without preamble into a restless discourse marked by obsessive repetition of short melodic motifs against a backdrop of triplet quavers. Eventually the fires burn themselves out, however, and with final calm comes unequivocal affirmation of C major as the sovereign key.

from notes by Francis Pott © 2014

Other albums featuring this work
'Szymanowski: Piano Music' (CDH55081)
Szymanowski: Piano Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55081  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Hyperion monthly sampler – February 2014' (HYP201402)
Hyperion monthly sampler – February 2014
MP3 £0.00FLAC £0.00ALAC £0.00 FREE DOWNLOAD HYP201402  Download-only monthly sampler  
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