Hyperion Records

Trois morceaux, Op 2
No 1: Andante espressivo; No 2: Quasi improvisato

'Catoire: Piano Music' (CDH55425)
Catoire: Piano Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55425  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2' (HYP20)
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2
This album is not yet available for download HYP20  2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
No 1: Chant intime
Track 3 on CDH55425 [1'40] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
No 2: Loin du foyer
Track 4 on CDH55425 [1'58] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 11 on HYP20 CD1 [1'58] 2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted
No 3: Soirée d'hiver
Track 5 on CDH55425 [4'34] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Trois morceaux, Op 2
The three pieces which make up Catoire’s Op 2 are far superior to the salon-type which was so prevalent at that time. The first, Chant intime, is only twenty-eight bars long. Marked ‘Andante espressivo’, it is in E major, and has a fleeting tendency to move towards the supertonic, but notice the subtle manner in which Catoire allows his simple theme to build a tracery of continuously unfolding melody—in its own way, this is evidence of an impressive skill in post-Wagnerian composition. We hear a similar approach in the second piece, Loin du foyer, thirty bars in length. This also tends towards the supertonic (in this case, F), but the rippling, middle-voiced accompaniment, ebbing and flowing against the two-part writing above and below, in this (as marked) ‘quasi improvisato’ piece is quite compelling. The third morceau, Soirée d’hiver, is more extended than the others, but is simply constructed with a gentle theme framing a central section. What makes this particularly interesting are two factors—the B minor allusions of the opening theme eventually end in a deep D major, and the central section is both in 5/8 and in the very rare key of C flat major. We should not be surprised to learn that this piece impressed Tchaikovsky.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1999

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