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.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67591/2

Tre Klaverstykker 'Three Piano Pieces', Op 59

1927/8; published posthumously in 1937; FS131

Martin Roscoe (piano)
Recording details: June 2007
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Michael George
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: June 2008
Total duration: 10 minutes 46 seconds

Cover artwork: Scutolo, 'The Marvel of Marvels' (1912) by Henry Brokman-Knudsen (1868-1933)
Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée du Petit-Palais, France / Lauros / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Mina Miller (piano)


‘These new recordings are sonically the best yet. Roscoe is famed for his touch and his playing's delicacy and finesse is evident throughout’ (Gramophone)

‘Apart from Grieg, no Scandinavian composer has written for the piano with more individuality and insight than Nielsen … Martin Roscoe is right inside this music and guides us through its marvels with great subtlety and authority. His is the most eloquent account since the pioneering set by Arne Skjøld Rasmussen. Hyperion gives him vivid and natural recorded sound and there are outstanding notes by Daniel Grimley’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘The piano music of Carl Nielsen is notable not only for its striking emotional power and radicalism but also for its transparency—for the writing is always unmistakably Nielsen … the album as a whole is a treasure-chest; it presents an entirely new slant for those not acquainted with Nielsen's music and broadens the field of vision significantly for those who are … this deserves to become a most conspicuous recording, and Hyperion's usual excellence in achieving a full-bodied, crystal-clear sound continues boldly forward’ (International Record Review)

‘The Symphonic Suite, the Chaconne, the magnificent Theme and Variations … are powerful, poetic, original in both idea and structure, widely varied in mood, impressively organic and as important in their way as any of Nielsens' remarkable symphonies. Martin Roscoe's technique withstands everything that the composer throws at it. He obviously belives in every note, as well he might’ (The Sunday Times)

‘Martin Roscoe demonstrates throughout this revealing double CD set [that Nielsen's piano music] is a canon of work that desperately needs attention … fantastic playing of compelling authority by one of Britain's finest pianists. A wonderful discovery’ (The Herald)
The dual sense of childlike innocence and devilish improvisation is brought to the foreground in the Three Piano Pieces Op 59, which Nielsen composed in 1928 but which were not published until 1937, six years after his death. Contemporary with the sixth symphony and the two late concertos for flute and clarinet, the Three Pieces sound almost like a distillation of the earlier Suite Op 45, but here there is little sense of a carefully crafted tonal process. Although the third piece ends dramatically with a craggy fanfare in E flat major, the final bars are effective precisely because they are unexpected and largely unprepared. Rather, it is the music’s sense of characterization—almost like a piece of abstract music-theatre—that is the work’s structural driving force. Hence, Nielsen can be heard as paralleling tendencies in the work of two great Continental modernists from the younger generation—Schoenberg and Stravinsky—even as he approaches the end of his own creative life. At times the Three Pieces are Nielsen’s most challenging and innovative work, but there is little sense of stylistic tension or strain, rather the continuation of a process of invention and imagination that had been apparent from his very earliest piano compositions.

from notes by Daniel Grimley © 2008

La dualité innoncence enfantine/improvisation diabolique est mise en avant dans les Trois pièces pour piano, op. 59, composées en 1928 mais publiées seulement après la mort de Nielsen, survenue en 1931. Contemporaines de la Symphonie no 6 et des deux concertos tardifs pour flûte et clarinette, ces partitions semblent presque une distillation de la Suite, op. 45 antérieure, même si l’on y ressent comme une progression tonale minutieusement ciselée. Quoique la troisième pièce s’achève théâtralement sur une fanfare anguleuse en mi bémol majeur, les dernières mesures tirent précisément leur efficacité de ce qu’elles sont inattendues, largement non préparées. Mieux, c’est le sentiment de caractérisation de la musique—presque une pièce de théâtre musical abstrait—qui constitue la force motrice structurelle de l’œuvre. Nielsen peut donc être perçu comme ayant fait pendant aux orientations de deux grands modernistes continentaux de la jeune génération—Schoenberg et Stravinsky—et ce alors même que sa vie créative touchait à sa fin. Parfois, les Trois pièces s’apparentent à son œuvre la plus stimulante et la plus novatrice même si, pauvres en tensions stylistiques, elles semblent davantage poursuivre un processus inventif et imaginatif entamé dès ses toute premières compositions pour piano.

extrait des notes rédigées par Daniel Grimley © 2008
Français: Hypérion

Die Dualismus zwischen kindlicher Unschuld und teuflischer Improvisation kommt auch in den 1928 komponierten, aber erst 1937 nach dem Tod des Komponisten veröffentlichten Drei Klavierstücken op. 59 zum Ausdruck. Sie entstanden zeitgleich mit der 6. Sinfonie und den zwei späten Konzerten, eins für Flöte und eins für Klarinette. Die Drei Klavierstücke klingen fast wie ein Konzentrat aus der zuvor entstandenen Suite op. 45. Allerdings spürt man hier auch einen sorgfältig konstruierten harmonischen Verlauf. Doch wirken die abschließenden Takte des dritten Stückes gerade deshalb so überzeugend, weil sie unerwartet und im Großen und Ganzen unvorbereitet sind, auch wenn sie dramatisch mit einer schroffen Fanfare in Es-Dur enden. Die treibende Kraft für die Form des Werkes ist eher die Gabe der Musik zur Charakterisierung—man könnte fast von einem Stück abstrakten Musiktheaters reden. So kann man in Nielsens Musik, selbst in der, die gegen Ende seines Lebens entstand, gleichzeitig Einflüsse von zwei großartigen Modernisten der jüngeren Generation vom europäischen Festland vernehmen—Schönberg und Strawinsky. In einigen Passagen möchte man die Drei Klavierstücke zu Nielsens schwierigsten und innovativsten Werken zählen. Doch herrscht wenig stilistische Spannung oder Druck. Stattdessen trifft man auf die Weiterführung eines Prozess aus Einfall und Fantasie, eines Prozesses, der schon in Nielsens frühesten Klavierkompositionen zutage trat.

aus dem Begleittext von Daniel Grimley © 2008
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

Nielsen: Complete Piano Music
CDA66231/22CDs Rights no longer controlled by Hyperion
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...