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Track(s) taken from CDA67827

Night Fancies

published by Ricordi in 1909; subtitled Impromptu

Danny Driver (piano)
Recording details: July 2010
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 9 minutes 1 seconds

Cover artwork: The Icknield Way (1912) by Spencer Frederick Gore (1878-1914)
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Here is a disc to warm the hearts and minds of those who treasure romantic nostalgia … Benjamin Dale's hugely ambitious and unwieldy Piano Sonata is assuredly not for lovers of economy … it is doubtful that [the sonata] has ever been played with a more shining commitment than by Danny Driver. His performance ranges from thundering rhetoric to a whispering poetic delicacy … a pianist of such magical warmth and finesse … Hyperion's sound and presentation are as immaculate as ever … this issue is as moving as it is superlative' (Gramophone)

'Danny Driver's stylish and immaculate playing makes an outstanding case for some technically demanding music. One for English music aficionados' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Shades of Liszt and Wagner haunt the Piano Sonata completed in 1905 by the English composer Benjamin Dale, but this is more to do with matters of harmony, texture and the odd reminiscence than with any wholesale aping. Danny Driver’s superb performance shows a confident composer, imaginative in sustaining a span of 45 minutes' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Driver brings a stunning brilliance … with a performance of this calibre, a brilliant recording quality from Hyperion and an unjustly neglected work, I can't but nominate this release in any case' (International Record Review)

'Driver posssesses an unerring sense of direction, while enabling the music to sound almost improvised. The grandeur of the finale is perfeclty conveyed. Competition comes from Paul Jacobs (Continuum) and Mark Bebbington (Somm). Neither version boasts the excellent of Hyperion's recording. Driver is the most exciting of the players, too … a fabulous performance' (International Piano)

'Danny Driver [is] technically superb, he has the gift of innate musicanship that illuminates the music's every twist and turn' (Yorkshire Post)

'Danny Driver rises seemingly effortlessly to the fearsome challenges of the piece and produces a performance highlighting the shape of the work' (Audiophile)
Night Fancies was published by Ricordi in 1909. Its subtitle, ‘Impromptu’, is vindicated by an initial sense of rapt improvisation and a quality of Innigkeit again comparable with Schumann—notwithstanding one melodic twist which recurrently but, doubtless, unconsciously recalls Yum-Yum’s alliance with the moon in The Mikado. This music rises to a more expansive climax than Prunella, while its bell-like sonorities hint at a closer engagement with incipient Impressionism than anything heard so far. The central passage, a mercurially chromatic scherzo, invites comparison with the early maturity of Bridge. Tchaikovsky is said to have commented that, for the composer, every piece becomes a dress rehearsal for the next; and here one senses that the composer of the D minor Sonata knew how to exploit an embarras de richesse. A reprise of the opening section again rises to a broad climax before the music sinks poignantly to rest in its home key, D flat major.

from notes by Francis Pott © 2011

Night Fancies a été publié par Ricordi en 1909. Son sous-titre, «Impromptu», est justifié par une impression initiale d’improvisation profonde et une qualité d’Innigkeit qui évoque encore Schumann—malgré une tournure mélodique qui rappelle de façon récurrente mais sans aucun doute inconsciemment l’alliance avec la lune de Yum-Yum dans Le Mikado. Cette musique s’élève à un sommet plus étendu que Prunella, et ses sonorités comparables à celles des cloches révèlent un engagement plus marqué envers l’impressionnisme naissant que tout ce que l’on a entendu jusqu’alors. Le passage central, un scherzo vivement chromatique, incite à la comparaison avec la maturité précoce de Bridge. Tchaïkovski aurait dit que, pour le compositeur, chaque œuvre devient une répétition générale de la suivante; et ici on a l’impression que le compositeur de la Sonate en ré mineur savait exploiter un «embarras de richesse». Une reprise de la section initiale monte à nouveau à un large sommet avant que la musique sombre finalement dans sa tonalité d’origine, ré bémol majeur.

extrait des notes rédigées par Francis Pott © 2011
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Night Fancies wurde 1909 von Ricordi herausgegeben. Der Untertitel, Impromptu, ist dadurch gerechtfertigt, dass zu Beginn eine verzückte Improvisation und eine gewisse Innigkeit, wiederum an Schumann erinnernd, zum Ausdruck kommt—trotz einer melodischen Wendung, die mehrmals, jedoch zweifellos unterbewusst, an die Verbindung Yum-Yums mit dem Mond in The Mikado erinnert. Diese Musik erhebt sich zu einem weitreichenderen Höhepunkt als es in Prunella der Fall ist, während die glockenartigen Klänge auf eine engere Auseinandersetzung mit dem einsetzenden Impressionismus hindeuten, als bisher zu beobachten war. Die zentrale Passage, ein lebhaftes chromatisches Scherzo, fordert zu einem Vergleich mit der frühen Reifeperiode von Frank Bridge auf. Tschaikowsky soll gesagt haben, dass für den Komponisten jedes Stück die Generalprobe des nächsten sei, und hier hat man den Eindruck, dass der Komponist der d-Moll-Sonate wusste, wie man einen embarras de richesse ausnutzen konnte. Eine Reprise des Anfangsteils erhebt sich wiederum zu einem großzügigen Höhepunkt, bevor die Musik in ergreifender Weise in ihre Grundtonart, Des-Dur, zurücksinkt.

aus dem Begleittext von Francis Pott © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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