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Track(s) taken from CDA67806

Scherzo No 1 in B minor

1857 or earlier

Danny Driver (piano)
Recording details: March 2010
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2011
Total duration: 7 minutes 22 seconds

Cover artwork: Rainbow (1900-05) by Arkhip Kuindzhi (1842-1910)


'Danny Driver continues his Hyperion exploration of the piano repertoire with delightful interpretations of Mily Balakirev. In particular, the piano sonata in B flat minor is a terrific, big-hearted piece, unlike anything else from its period, and its neglect in the concert hall is surely due a reappraisal … impressive playing throughout ensures that your finger won't stray far from the replay button' (The Observer)

'In the case of the Sonata, motifs of folk song add a distinctive tang to a work of unorthodox construction but fascinating originality. Bravo to Hyperion for championing this music and to Driver for playing it with such sensitivity, polish and élan' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The three releases by the young British pianist Danny Driver have met with considerable acclaim. It's wonderful to see a talent such as this continuing to address the more obsure pianistic byways, and here Driver has assembled a fabulous array of works from Balakirev's very varied keyboard output … as ever, Hyperion provides recording quality and programme notes which are first class in every way' (International Record Review)

'Danny Driver's recordings of York Bowen for Hyperion have enjoyed critical success; here he shows himself a sterling interpreter of Russian repertoire … Driver is most attentive to the musics nuances. The Mazurka second movement is another of contrasts and he captures the dance element perfectly, revelling in sometimes extreme ornamentation … the recording is first class, with great presence' (International Piano)

'Young British pianist, Danny Driver, produces all the technical fireworks needed' (Yorkshire Post)
Balakirev's debt to Chopin is at its clearest in such pieces as the Scherzo No 1 in B minor (1857 or earlier). In fact his penchant for the keys of B minor and B flat minor can surely be traced to Chopin’s first and second scherzos as well as to his second and third sonatas. Typically, Balakirev’s Scherzo adds glitter and sparkle to lyrical themes, rather than making glitter the substance (as Chopin so brilliantly did), and it features one of the flashiest codas in his output, preceded by some brilliant bariolage (dividing material between the hands to percussive effect, in a way derived from the violinistic technique of rapidly alternating fingered notes and open strings).

from notes by David Fanning © 2011

La dette envers Chopin transparaît le mieux dans des pièces comme le Scherzo no 1 en si mineur (1857 au plus tard). En vérité, le penchant de Balakirev pour les tons de si mineur et de si bémol mineur remonte sûrement aux premier et deuxième scherzos ainsi qu’aux deuxième et troisième sonates de Chopin. Pour ne pas changer, Balakirev ajoute, dans son Scherzo, éclat et chatoiement aux thèmes lyriques, au lieu de faire miroiter la substance (comme le faisait si brillamment Chopin) et il écrit l’une des plus étincelantes codas de tout son œuvre, précédée d’un brillant bariolage (scission entre les deux mains à des fins percussives, dérivée en un sens de la technique violonistique consistant à alterner notes touchées sur le manche et cordes à vide).

extrait des notes rédigées par David Fanning © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Die Anleihen bei Chopin werden am deutlichsten in Stücken wie dem Scherzo Nr. 1 in h-Moll (1857 oder früher). Tatsächlich kann Balakirews Vorliebe für die Tonarten h-Moll und b-Moll mit Sicherheit zu Chopins ersten beiden Scherzos sowie zur zweiten und dritten Sonate zurückverfolgt werden. Im Scherzo schmückt er wie üblich seine lyrischen Themen mit funkelndem Glitzern, statt die Substanz glitzern zu lassen, wie Chopin dies so brillant meisterte. Nach einigen brillanten Bariolagen (aus dem Geigenspiel abgeleiteter schneller Wechsel zwischen gegriffenen und offenen Saiten, hier die Verteilung des Materials auf beide Hände zur Erzielung rhythmischer Effekte) folgt eine der extravagantesten Codas seines gesamten Werks.

aus dem Begleittext von David Fanning © 2011
Deutsch: Henning Weber

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