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Track(s) taken from CDA67827

Miniature Suite in C major, Op 14

1904; movement 1 is dedicated to Benjamin Dale; first published by the Anglo-French Music Company in 1919

Danny Driver (piano)
Recording details: December 2010
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 11 minutes 21 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)
Bowen’s disarmingly attractive Miniature Suite in C major of 1904, the first of four written during his early years of relative celebrity, remained unpublished until issued by the Anglo-French Music Company in 1919. The ‘English Rachmaninov’ sobriquet with which Bowen was saddled later is especially inappropriate to these three urbane movements, whose pianistic dress recalls first the valse caprice idiom of Johann Strauss-transcribers such as Tausig and Schulz-Evler, then the nocturne and Liebestraum manner of Chopin and Liszt. The title Humoresque would have been no less suitable for the finale, a light-fingered toccatina which, pianissimo, accelerates towards the end before vanishing as abruptly as a conjuror’s handkerchief.

from notes by Francis Pott © 2011

La Suite miniature en ut majeur d’un charme désarmant de 1904 de Bowen, la première des quatre écrites au cours de ses premières années de célébrité relative, est restée inédite jusqu’à sa publication par l’Anglo-French Music Company en 1919. Le sobriquet de «Rachmaninov anglais» qui a ensuite lourdement pesé sur les épaules de Bowen ne correspond pas du tout à ces trois mouvements raffinés, dont le vêtement pianistique rappelle tout d’abord le langage de la valse caprice des transcripteurs de Johann Strauss comme Tausig et Schulz-Evler, puis le style des nocturnes de Chopin et de Liebestraum de Liszt. Le titre Humoresque n’aurait pas davantage convenu au finale, une toccatina adroite qui, pianissimo, accélère vers la fin avant de disparaître aussi brusquement qu’un mouchoir de prestidigitateur.

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

Bowens gewinnende und reizvolle Miniature Suite in C-Dur von 1904, die erste von vier, die er während seiner ersten Jahre relativer Berühmtheit schrieb, blieb unveröffentlicht, bis der Notenverlag Anglo-French Music Company sie im Jahr 1919 herausgab. Der Beiname „der englische Rachmaninow“, der Bowen später aufgezwungen wurde, ist im Falle dieser drei gewandten Sätze besonders unpassend, da ihre pianistische Tracht zunächst an die Valse-caprice-Tonsprache von Johann-Strauss-Bearbeitern wie etwa Tausig und Schulz-Evler und dann an die Nocturne- und Liebestraum-Manier Chopins und Liszts erinnert. Der Titel Humoresque wäre für das Finale nicht weniger passend gewesen—es ist dies eine geschmeidige Toccatina, die im Pianissimo auf das Ende hin beschleunigt, bevor sie ebenso schnell verschwindet wie das Taschentuch eines Zauberers.

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

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