Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Five Characteristic Pieces, Op 93

composer
completed on 1 February 1905

 
The Five Characteristic Pieces for violin and piano, Op 93, were completed on 1 February 1905 and were, one assumes, written for the same lucrative market as the Irish Fantasies. These pieces, however, exhibit a greater technical sophistication in terms of design which belies their miniature conception. The ‘Cavatina and Scherzino’ is effectively a reverse form of the ‘Scherzo and Trio’ model in that it is the lyrical episodes that flank a central scherzo rather than the usual converse arrangement. For the ‘Cavatina’, Stanford relies on a three-part texture: a self-developing melody in the violin (deftly avoiding regular periodicity with its three-bar phrases), a gently undulating quaver movement in the right hand of the piano, and a simple interjecting bass line to punctuate each phrase. The euphony of this section is broken by the ‘Scherzino’ in the mediant minor, whose unsettling rhythmical agitation is calmed only by a more voluptuous restatement of the opening paragraph. After the F major of the ‘Cavatina’, the central three movements, ‘Capriccio’, ‘In a gondola’ and ‘Arabesques’ are all set in minor keys. The first of them, the ‘Capriccio’, takes up the A minor of the ‘Scherzino’ but this time in a delicious Mendelssohnian style of ‘will o’ the wisp’ in the true manner of a scherzo. Mendelssohn’s idiom of the ‘song without words’ (in particular the movements entitled ‘Gondellied’ of Opp 19, 30, 38 and 62) inhabits ‘In a gondola’, cast in a dolorous D minor. Like the ‘Capriccio’ before it, the movement depends on the fluctuation of minor and major modes to delineate its tripartite structure, though for its conclusion Stanford gives us a sweet memory of the central episode in D major, replete with enchanting Lydian inflections and the most delicate of conclusions on the violin’s natural harmonics. A further step flatwards, to G minor, brings us to another scherzo. ‘Arabesques’, so named because of its elaborate curvilinear melody, is a miniature sonata and shows considerable inventiveness in the way both original and augmented forms of the opening material are deployed in an engaging dialogue between violin and piano. As a postscript to the previous four pieces, ‘L’Envoi’ provides the most intimate of glimpses into a more introspective world. There are many skilful touches about this enchanting piece. Stanford’s return to the major (after three pieces in the minor) provides a telling contrast, as does the choice of A major which serves as effective complement to the A minor of the ‘Scherzino’ and ‘Capriccio’. But perhaps most subtle is the tranquil secondary material in B major which seems to hint at the ‘Cavatina’ in the piano figuration. This remains only a vague allusion, but in the final bars the opening strains of the ‘Cavatina’ do indeed materialize, bringing us full circle. This time, however, its song-like innocence is transformed into one of melancholy as its two melodic phrases are answered by the violin’s tearful motif. Such a gesture suggests perhaps that throughout the five pieces as a whole we have been witness to an unwritten background narrative, too personal to intimate.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble 1999

Recordings

Stanford: Music for violin and piano
CDH55362Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Details

No 1: Cavatina and Scherzino
Track 5 on CDH55362 [4'30] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
No 2: Capriccio
Track 6 on CDH55362 [4'06] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
No 3: In a gondola
Track 7 on CDH55362 [5'06] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
No 4: Arabesques
Track 8 on CDH55362 [3'16] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
No 5: L'Envoi
Track 9 on CDH55362 [4'29] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Track-specific metadata for CDH55362 track 7

In a gondola
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-98-02407
Duration
5'06
Recording date
8 February 1999
Recording venue
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Stanford: Music for violin and piano (CDA67024)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: June 1999
    Deletion date: July 2008
    Superseded by CDH55362
  2. Stanford: Music for violin and piano (CDH55362)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: March 2013
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
  3. Hyperion monthly sampler March 2013 (HYP201303)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: March 2013
    Download-only monthly sampler
Licensing
1.Audio tour Millais: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 2008
2.Audio tour St Huberts Jachthuis: Stiching Het National Park De Hoge Veluew, The Netherlands, permanent collection
Search

There are no matching records. Please try again.