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Track(s) taken from CDA67803

Variations sur un thème de Chopin

based on Chopin's Prelude in A major, Op 28 No 7

Jonathan Plowright (piano)
Recording details: August 2009
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: February 2010
Total duration: 21 minutes 17 seconds

Cover artwork: Adaptation of the cover illustration for Franz Bendel's Hommage à Chopin, Trautwein, Berlin (1867).


'A fascinating collection, brilliantly dispatched by Plowright' (The Mail on Sunday)

'All of these multifaceted offerings (jewels as well as gemstones) show Jonathan Plowright as beguiling in intimacy … as he is magisterial in virtuosity. Such quality will leave lesser pianists bemused, as as on Plowright's earlier superb Hyperion recordings he has been immaculately recorded' (Gramophone)

'Mompou's 11th variation is the sublimest track on the disc. It is in places like these that Plowright shows his real qualities as a virtuoso, especially his clarity of texture and instinct for phrasing. Warmly recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Jonathan Plowright provides a fascinating conspectus of how Chopin’s example has sparked ideas in others … this disc is a delight' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Fascinating, seldom-trodden paths of the vast 19th- and 20th-century piano literature that rarely find their way onto disc … Plowright's dazzling playing can't be faulted' (The Sunday Times)

'Jonathan Plowright has assembled a towering monument to the Chopin style' (Audiophile Audition, USA)
The theme of the twelve Variations sur un thème de Chopin by the Spanish/Catalan composer Federico Mompou (1893–1987) is the little A major Prelude Op 28 No 7. All but two of the variations, Nos 7 (Allegro leggiero) and 12 (Galope y epílogo), retain the character of the original, their lucid textures and conservative harmonies beguiling the ear. Free from cynicism and knowing comments, Mompou’s music offers us, in the words of Stephen Hough, the ‘magic of childhood … [his] eyes are wide open, sparkling like a child’s, and his smile has all the surprise and enthralment of Creation itself’. No better examples can be found than Variation 3 (for the left hand alone), Variation 4 (almost begging to have lyrics attached), the achingly touching Variation 8 (surely modeled on Chopin’s E minor Prelude) and Variation 10, which quotes the central section of the Fantasy Impromptu.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010

Les douze Variations sur un thème de Chopin du compositeur hispano-catalan Federico Mompou (1893– 1987) s’appuient sur le petit Prélude en la majeur op. 28 no 7 de Chopin. Toutes les variations, sauf les numéros 7 (Allegro leggiero) et 12 (Galope y epílogo), gardent le caractère de l’original, leurs textures limpides et leurs harmonies conventionnelles envoûtant l’oreille. Affranchi du cynisme et des commentaires sages, Mompou nous offre, selon Stephen Hough, la «magie de l’enfance … [ses yeux] sont grand ouverts, brillants comme ceux d’un enfant, et son sourire a toute la surprise, tout l’ensorcellement de la Création même». Ce qu’illustrent à merveille la Variation 3 (pour la main gauche seule), la Variation 4 (implorant presque qu’on lui adjoigne des paroles), la Variation 8, douloureusement touchante (et certainement modelée sur le Prélude en mi mineur de Chopin), et la Variation 10, qui cite la section centrale de la Fantaisie-Impromptu.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeremy Nicholas © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Das Thema der Zwölf Variations sur un thème de Chopin des spanisch-katalanischen Komponisten Federico Mompou (1893–1987) ist das kurze A-Dur-Prelude op. 28 Nr. 7. Alle außer zwei Variationen (Nr. 7 Allegro leggiero und Nr. 12 Galope y epílogo) bewahren den Charakter des Originals; ihr klarer Aufbau und ihre vertrauten Harmonien schmeicheln dem Ohr. Frei von Zynismen und klugen Kommentaren bietet uns Mompous Musik mit den Worten von Stephen Hough „den Zauber der Kindheit … seine Augen sind weit offen, leuchtend wie die eines Kindes, und sein Lächeln ist voll von Unerwartetem und Spannendem, so wie uns nur die Schöpfung selbst überraschen kann.“ Man kann dafür keine besseren Beispiele finden als die Variation Nr. 3 (für die linke Hand allein), die Variation Nr. 4, die förmlich um einen Text zu ihrer Melodie bettelt, die unglaublich anrührende Variation Nr. 8 (sie hat zweifellos Chopins e-Moll-Prelude zum Vorbild) und die Variation Nr. 10, die den Mittelteil des Fantaisie-Impromptus zitiert.

aus dem Begleittext von Jeremy Nicholas © 2010
Deutsch: Ludwig Madlener

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