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Track(s) taken from CDA68025

Prelude exotique, Op 10 No 2


Sam Haywood (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: January 2013
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Annette Isserlis
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: January 2014
Total duration: 2 minutes 24 seconds

Cover artwork: Composition with Red Horseman (1920) by Victor Nikoandrovich Palmov (1888-1929)
State Russian Museum, St Petersburg / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'While Russian Romanticism permeates Isserlis's idiomatic and skilful keyboard-writing, the harmonic language is strikingly akin to composers such as Holst, Bax, Scott and Bowen … Haywood's sensitive, nuanced, technically assured interpretations ought to generate interest among pianists seeking out unusual, effective and accessible short pieces. The disc's centerpiece and most substantial work is the multi-thematic Ballade for cello and piano, originally written for Pablo Casals. Guest artist Steven Isserlis's fervent, big-boned artistry surely does his grandfather's impassioned cello-writing proud. Hyperion's superb production makes this disc all the more welcome' (Gramophone)

'This album makes for a delightful hour … this is salon music in the best sense of the word, reminiscent of Tchaikovsky's pieces d'occasion. Haywood's rubato is delicate and his touch pliantly expressive; when virtuosity is required, he delivers it comfortably, but for the most part he just lets the music's artless charm speak for itself' (BBC Music Magazine)» More

'Sam Haywood’s new CD brings to our attention Julius Isserlis (1888-1968), a figure from the not so distant past who is not perhaps entirely forgotten … but well worth a fresh look … apart from two early works for piano and orchestra, a single song and the cello and piano piece recorded here, all of Isserlis’s music was conceived for the piano. He must have been an excellent pianist … the A minor Ballade, persuasively interpreted by the composer’s grandson, Steven, is an attractive recital number. The Ten Preludes of Op 2, seven of which Haywood presents, are closer to Chopin than Rachmaninov. Concentrated and succinct, they show Isserlis at his best … generally speaking, Isserlis speaks the tonal language of late Romanticism, with modal inflections from folk song and, on occasion, Debussy … this is an important contribution, shedding further light on Russian music of the first half of the twentieth century' (International Record Review)» More

'Haywood plays these works with consummate sensitivity, and has been well recorded. Isserlis seems to have been a charmer and, musically-speaking, a miniaturist and his works reflect an interesting channel to composition in Russia in the first two decades or so of the twentieth century' (MusicWeb International)» More
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