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Track(s) taken from CDA67947

Six Pièces

circa 1848; published 'in aid of the poor'

Howard Shelley (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: November 2011
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Annabel Connellan
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: September 2012
Total duration: 13 minutes 19 seconds

Cover artwork: A Storm Passing Off on the Coast of Merionethshire (1818) by Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding (1787-1855)
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund, USA / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Shelley plays this music with consummate artistry, making light of its technical difficulties and investing it with all the Romantic charm and ardour it needs. It's captured in excellent quality sound' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Spohr's piano sonata is rarely heard and there is much to commend in it … a work that is lyrically and melodically dominated throughout, and with some ravishing modulations among its highlights … Onslow's works are well deserving of an audience … the Toccata is very enjoyable … once again, Shelley has done us a service in resurrecting long-forgotten works and performing them with such consummate skill and good taste. The notes and Hyperion's recording quality are of an exemplary standard' (International Record Review)

'Shelley, who as a conductor has recorded all of Spohr's symphonies, plays this music masterfully. Hyperion's recording is faultless. What's not to like?' (Fanfare, USA)
The Six Pièces, published ‘in aid of the poor’ (Onslow was well known for his charitable work), date from the late 1840s, by which time he had been elected only the second honorary member of the Philharmonic Society of London (after Mendelssohn), and to the chair of the Institut de France, in preference to Berlioz! Destined for the amateur domestic market, these unassuming pieces are Onslow’s response to Mendelssohn’s hugely popular Songs without words. While most of them mine a vein of gentle, fireside sentimentality, No 4, in B flat minor, is an exquisitely tender valse triste that on a ‘blind’ test might easily be mistaken for Schubert.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2012

Les Six Pièces, publiées «au profit des pauvres» (Onslow était connu pour ses bonnes œuvres) datent de la fin des années 1840—Onslow était alors devenu le second membre honoraire de la Philharmonic Society de Londres, à la suite de Mendelssohn, et fut préféré à Berlioz pour occuper la chaire de l’Institut de France! Destinées au marché domestique amateur, ces pièces sans prétention se veulent une réponse aux Romance sans paroles, immensément populaires, de Mendelssohn. Si la plupart d’entre elles exploitent une veine de douce sentimentalité au coin du feu, la nº 4, en si bémol mineur, est une valse triste, d’une exquise tendresse, qu’on pourrait facilement prendre, à l’«aveugle», pour du Schubert.

extrait des notes rédigées par Richard Wigmore © 2012
Français: Hypérion

Die Six Pièces pour piano wurden „zugunsten der Armen“ (Onslow war für seine gemeinnützige Arbeit berühmt) veröffentlicht und stammen aus den späten 1840er Jahren, als er bereits, nach Mendelssohn, zum zweiten Ehrenmitglied der Philharmonic Society of London ernannt und ihm der Vorsitz des Institut de France (anstelle von Berlioz!) übertragen worden war. Diese bescheidenen Stücke waren für den Hausmusikmarkt der Laienmusiker gedacht und stellten Onslows Reaktion auf Mendelssohns enorm populäre Lieder ohne Worte dar. Zwar besitzen die meisten eine sanfte Kamineckensentimentalität, doch ist das vierte Stück in b-Moll eine vorzügliche, zarte Valse triste, die in einem „Blindversuch“ durchaus für Schubert gehalten werden könnte.

aus dem Begleittext von Richard Wigmore © 2012
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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