Hyperion Records

The Way to Polden 'An ambling tune', Op 76
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The three York Bowen pieces show three contrasting faces of the composer: the Reverie d’Amour is an early piece whose blushingly lush lyricism hovers delightfully close to decadence; the Serious Dance (the second of three such pieces) is a wistful waltz with teasing harmonic side-steps—a Bowen speciality; and The Way to Polden is a later piece where the harmonies are more piquant and the emotion more ‘inside the sleeve’. Chilton Polden is a small village in Somerset and is probably the reference here. (Curiously, ‘Polden’ is also the name of a poem by Tyutchev which was set to music by Nicolai Medtner, a contemporary of Bowen’s who lived only a few miles away from him in Golders Green.)

from notes by Stephen Hough © 2002

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