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Hyperion Records

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Halos (1894) by Louis Welden Hawkins (1849-1910)
Track(s) taken from CDA67057/8
Recording details: June 2000
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Amanda Hurton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: February 2001
Total duration: 10 minutes 48 seconds

'Everything about this two-disc set is ideal. Few pianists could show more sympathy and affection for such volatile romanticism, or display greater stylistic consistency. This new set of the Preludes should be in any serious record collection' (Gramophone)

'Lane certainly knows how to tease out the music's textural subtleties; his emotional commitment is undeniable, as is his grasp of the poetic/virtuosic dichotomy inherent in Scriabin's music' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Lane is the perfect guide to Scriabin’s shimmering miniature masterpieces' (The Independent)

'To find contemporary performances that convey … aspects of the music more vividly and with greater sympathy, as well as with a good deal more technical refinement, one need look no further than Piers Lane’s recent transversal' (International Record Review)

'Lane's technical brilliance and assurance captures the most elusive qualities of this music, as one dream-vision dissolves into another … [his] control and balance of their veiled sonorities is wonder-filled' (The Times)

'Piers Lane is easily the master of all this … you get the sense this music is in his blood. The preludes have been well worth waiting for' (Amazon.co.uk)

'Lane's flawless finger and inspired brain are totally attuned to Scriabin's hyper-expressive sound world. Gorgeous, flattering sonics help elevate this recording to reference version status among complete Scriabin cycles. Bravo!' (ClassicsToday.com)

Sept préludes, Op 17
composer
1895/6

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Op 17 is far less often performed as a set, but contains some of Scriabin’s loveliest pages. No 1 is a melancholy waltz whose ‘flying’ right-hand line, supported by restless left-hand cross-rhythms, reaches passionate heights. It is the left hand (as so often) of No 2 which provides the motive power, with octave figures across the beat; above floats a magisterial line particularly reminiscent of Chopin. No 3 is in Scriabin’s weightless, filigree manner, and No 4 spins a melodic line over an evenly moving bass similarly to Op 11 No 13, which is in a related key. The scenery of Heidelberg evokes an heroic response in No 5: widespread broken chords in the right hand complement a left hand whose opening gesture anticipates Rachmaninov’s Sonata No 2 of 1913. The ‘doloroso’ marking of No 6 is expressed by ceaseless suspensions, but there is an underlying serenity. These sets often close with a lightweight number, but No 7 is an exception with its long, mobile lines and virtuosic left hand.

from notes by Simon Nicholls © 2001

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