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Twelve Short Pieces

composer
October 1894; published by Novello in 1895

 
The Twelve Short Pieces for violin and piano were composed at the end of October 1894, at the request of Novello, and were dedicated to the composer’s wife Maude (sister of the 13th Earl of Pembroke) and his two daughters, Dorothea (Dolly) and Gwen, with the exception of the first piece, Idyll, which was dedicated to his good friend Kitty Maxse (formerly Kitty Lushington). The pieces were published in 1895 in three sets, and though there is not much documentary evidence about them, it seems likely they were commissioned to serve violinists of a more limited technical proficiency. Most of these delightful miniatures form neat ternary structures resembling earlier small-scale movements found in works such as the Partita for violin and piano (first peformed 1886) and the Lady Radnor Suite (1894). Some pieces are decidedly reminiscent of other composers, the Romance from Set 1 and Capriccio from Set 2 are successful pastiches of Dvorák, and movements such as the Romance from Set 2 show an indebtedness to Schumann. Several pieces contain melodic strands that anticipate future works. The opening melody of Envoi (Set 2) looks forward in a rather restrained manner to the much livelier setting of Rossetti’s ‘My heart is like a singing bird’ (English Lyrics, Set 10, 1909), and the delicate little Preamble (Set 3) has many turns of phrase that Parry used later in his song ‘On a time the amorous Silvy’ (English Lyrics, Set 7, 1907), especially the amusing switch to the flat side towards the end. Last but not least the charming Lullaby (Set 1) contains material in its central section that is virtually identical with the same section in the Sarabande of Parry’s much later English Suite for strings, published posthumously in 1921.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 1991

À la fin d’octobre 1894, Parry composa les Twelve Short Pieces pour violon et piano à la demande de Novello et les dédia toutes à sa femme Maude (sœur du treizième comte de Pembroke), ainsi qu’à ses deux filles, Dorothea (Dolly) et Gwen—toutes sauf la première, Idyll, qui fut dédiée à sa bonne amie Kitty Maxse (ex Kitty Lushington). Ces pièces furent publiées en trois corpus, en 1895 et, malgré le peu de documents à notre disposition, il semble qu’elles aient été commandées pour servir des violonistes doués d’une maîtrise technique plutôt restreinte. La plupart de ces ravissantes miniatures présentent de nettes structures ternaires comparables aux mouvements à petite échelle antérieurs rencontrés dans des œuvres comme la Partita pour violon et piano (créée en 1886) et la suite Lady Radnor (1894). Certaines de ces pièces rappellent franchement d’autres compositeurs: la Romance (corpus 1) et Capriccio (corpus 2) sont ainsi des pastiches réussis de Dvorák, et des mouvements comme la Romance (corpus 2) témoignent d’une dette envers Schumann. Plusieurs pièces ont des fils mélodiques qui annoncent les œuvres à venir. La mélodie d’ouverture d’Envoi (corpus 2) regarde avec une certaine sobriété vers la mise en musique nettement plus enjouée de «My heart is like a singing bird» de Rossetti (English Lyrics, corpus 10, 1909), et le délicat petit Preamble (corpus 3) contient maintes tournures de phrases que Parry utilisa plus tard dans son chant «On a time the amorous Silvy» (English Lyrics, corpus 7, 1907), surtout l’amusant passage au bémol, vers la fin. Last but not least, la charmante Lullaby (corpus 1) renferme, dans sa section centrale, un matériau presque identique à celui de la section centrale de la Sarabande de l’English Suite pour cordes, pourtant bien ultérieure et publiée à titre posthume en 1921.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeremy Dibble © 1991
Français: Hypérion

Die Twelve Short Pieces („Zwölf kurzen Stücke“) für Violine und Klavier wurden auf Anfrage Novellos gegen Ende Oktober 1894 komponiert. Sie sind Parrys zwei Töchtern, Dorothea (Dolly) und Gwen, und seiner Frau Maude (Schwester des 13. Earl of Pembroke) gewidmet. Eine Ausnahme bildet das erste Stück, Idyll, das Parrys guter Freundin Kitty Maxse (frühere Kitty Lushington) gewidmet ist. Diese Stücke wurden 1895 in drei Bänden veröffentlicht. Wahrscheinlich waren sie für Violinisten mit begrenzten technischen Fähigkeiten gedacht, auch wenn es kaum Quellenmaterial gibt, das diese Vermutung belegen würde. Die meisten dieser reizenden Miniaturen stehen in ABA-Form und ähneln früheren kleineren Sätzen, die in solchen Werken wie der Partita für Violine und Klavier (1886 uraufgeführt) oder der Suite Lady Radnor (1894) auftauchen. Einige Stücke erinnern stark an andere Komponisten: Die Romance (Band 1) und das Capriccio (Band 2) sind überzeugende Dvorák-Pastiches, und Sätze wie die Romance (Band 2) verneigen sich vor Schumann. Einige Stücke enthalten melodische Linien, die zukünftige Werke vorwegnehmen. So schaut die einleitende Melodie in Envoi (Band 2) auf ziemlich beherrschte Art und Weise auf die viel lebhaftere Vertonung von Rossettis „My heart is like a singing bird“ („Mein Herz singt wie ein Vogel, singt“) (English Lyrics, Band 10, 1909) voraus, und die delikate kleine Preamble (Band 3) enthält zahlreiche musikalische Phrasen, die Parry später in seinem Lied „On a time the amorous Silvy“ („Als die amouröse Silvy“) (English Lyrics, Band 7, 1907) wieder verwendete, besonders die komische Wendung nach Moll gegen Ende. Nicht zuletzt enthält das charmante Lullaby („Wiegenlied“) (Band 1) in seinem Mittelteil Material, das fast identisch mit dem gleichen Abschnitt in der Sarabande aus Parrys viel später komponierten, 1921 posthum veröffentlichten Suite für Streicher ist.

aus dem Begleittext von Jeremy Dibble © 1991
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Details

Set 1 No 1: Idyll. Allegretto 'To K.M.'
Track 4 on CDH55266 [1'44] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 1 No 2: Romance. Andante espressivo 'To Gwen'
Track 5 on CDH55266 [2'06] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 1 No 3: Capriccio. Vivace 'To Dolly'
Track 9 on CDH55266 [0'51] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 1 No 4: Lullaby. Andantino 'To Maude'
Track 13 on CDH55266 [2'45] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 2 No 1: Prelude. Allegro 'To Maude'
Track 12 on CDH55266 [1'19] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 2 No 2: Romance. Lento espressivo 'To Gwen'
Track 6 on CDH55266 [3'32] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 2 No 3: Capriccio. Allegretto 'To Dolly'
Track 7 on CDH55266 [2'35] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 2 No 4: Envoi. Andantino 'To Dolly'
Track 8 on CDH55266 [2'11] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 3 No 1: Preamble. Allegro 'To Gwen'
Track 14 on CDH55266 [1'43] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 3 No 2: Romance. Andante sostenuto 'To Maude'
Track 15 on CDH55266 [2'21] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 3 No 3: Capriccio. Vivace 'To Gwen'
Track 16 on CDH55266 [2'54] Last few CD copies remaining
Set 3 No 4: Envoi. Andantino, quasi allegretto 'To Dolly'
Track 11 on CDH55266 [2'23] Last few CD copies remaining

Track-specific metadata for CDH55266 track 6

Set 2 No 2: Romance. Lento espressivo 'To Gwen'
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-85-15706
Duration
3'32
Recording date
3 November 1984
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Parry: Fantasie Sonata, Violin Sonata & Twelve Short Pieces (CDA66157)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: March 1991
    Deletion date: December 2005
    Superseded by CDH55266
  2. Parry: Violin Sonatas (CDH55266)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: January 2007
    Last few CD copies remaining
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