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Track(s) taken from CDA67967

Nocturne No 4 in C minor 'Bal fantôme'

1934; dedicated to Julien Green

Piers Lane (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: June 2012
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: September 2013
Total duration: 1 minutes 36 seconds

Cover artwork: Portrait of Piers Lane by John Beard (b1943)

Other recordings available for download

Stephen Hough (piano)


'This superbly recorded disc (played on a gorgeously voiced Steinway) is Lane's love letter to the piano. I wish more pianists would share their guilty pleasures like this' (Gramophone)

'Lane in wonderful, debonair mode here, sparkling through a personal encore selection from Jamaican Rumba to a Toccata by his own father, and from Myra Hess to Dudley Moore' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Puts smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes … Katharine Parker's Down Longford Way grows from an Ivor Novello-like charm into an opulently Romantic piece of striking contrast and colour, indeed the perfect choice with which to launch the disc. The playing throughout is first-class: witty where it needs to be, reflective and joyous elsewhere … Lane is a dynamic, insightful pianist who is able to bring a new perspective to the repertoire. His renditions of the Grainger and Bach / Hess pieces are quite beautiful, and in Mayerl's Marigold I can hardly imagine a more heartfelt account' (International Record Review)

'Piers Lane, one of the most versatile pianists around, presents many sides of himself in a selection of pieces that may seem topsy-turvy, incongruous even, but there are some wonderful and brilliant things here to be re-united with or discovered, and each piece is superbly played, with complete identification, and beautifully recorded too—just like a piano should sound, with all of Lane’s colours, dynamics and inflections faithfully relayed' (Classical Source)
Poulenc’s fourth Nocturne, with its hint of the seventh of Chopin’s Op 28 Preludes, has a kind of lazy rhetoric but always coloured with the composer’s characteristic piquancy. Among his series of eight nocturnes, it is one of the few that actually fits the title in its traditional sense. Subtitled ‘Bal fantôme’, it is prefaced by a quote from the novel Le visionnaire by the writer Julien Green, a friend of the composer: an invalid, confined to his sick-bed, hears distant strains of a ball and recalls happier times of his youth. The sly semitonal movement gives those distant memories of the waltz a distinctly twentieth-century edge.

from notes by Harriet Smith © 2012

Le quatrième Nocturne de Poulenc, avec son allusion au septième des Préludes, op. 28, de Chopin, se déroule dans une sorte de langage paisible mais toujours coloré avec le piquant caractéristique du compositeur. De sa série de huit nocturnes, c’est l’un des rares qui correspond vraiment au titre dans son sens traditionnel. Sous-titré «Bal fantôme», il est préfacé d’une citation du roman Le visionnaire de l’écrivain Julien Green, ami du compositeur: un invalide, confiné dans son lit de malade, entend les échos lointains d’un bal et se souvient des jours plus heureux de sa jeunesse. L’astucieux mouvement semi tonal donne à ces lointains souvenirs de valse un côté nettement XXe siècle.

extrait des notes rédigées par Harriet Smith © 2012
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Poulencs viertes Nocturne, das in gewisser Weise an das siebte der Préludes op. 28 von Chopin erinnert, hat eine etwas träge Rhetorik, ist jedoch durchweg von der charakteristischen Pikanterie des Komponisten durchwirkt. In seiner Serie von acht Nocturnes ist es eins der wenigen, zu dem der Titel im traditionellen Sinne tatsächlich passt. Es trägt den Untertitel „Bal fantôme“ und es ist ihm ein Zitat aus dem Roman Le visionnaire des Schriftstellers Julien Green vorangestellt, der mit dem Komponisten befreundet war: ein an sein Krankenbett gefesselter Invalide hört die Musik eines Balls und erinnert sich an glücklichere Zeiten in seiner Jugend. Die verschmitzte halbtönige Bewegung verleiht den entfernten Walzer-Erinnerungen einen für das 20. Jahrhundert charakteristischen Schliff.

aus dem Begleittext von Harriet Smith © 2012
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Stephen Hough's French Album
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