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Track(s) taken from CDA67515

Bourrée fantasque


Angela Hewitt (piano)
Recording details: June 2004
Das Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Dobbiaco, Italy
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: February 2006
Total duration: 6 minutes 38 seconds


'As to Hewitt's performances, they are as affectionate, warm, lyrical and charming as one could wish, underlining but not exaggerating Chabrier's deliciously predictable unpredictability' (Gramophone)

'Hewitt is at her best here, teasing out the yearning harmonies and shy cadences with a persuasive rubato' (BBC Music Magazine)

'It is very fresh-face playing, bringing out, also, Chabrier's acknowledged debt to the French Baroque keyboard giants, while even Bach seems to hang over the gigue-like Scherzo-valse … wit and charm are in abundance' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Angela Hewitt, in one of her best recordings to date, has captured Chabrier's musical spirit perfectly' (International Record Review)

'Pianists have missed some treats by neglecting Chabrier’s piano music. Angela Hewitt plays this refreshing selection with the same poetry, elegance and dancing touch that made her other French discs for Hyperion so special. The ten Pièces pittoresques take pride of place: dominated by sunshine, delightfully frisky rhythms and an early French Impressionist haze. Fed up of grey skies? Buy this disc and it’s already spring' (The Times)

'If you don't know Chabrier's piano music, then this is an ideal selection of his best (and best-known) works played with exactly the right amount of tenderness, Gallic wit, verve, and—the most important ingredient of all—charm' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hewitt is in excellent form throughout … well worth it, I'd say' (Fanfare, USA)

'In terms of recording, performance, and production, another success for the Hewitt-Hyperion collaboration' (MusicWeb International)

'Perhaps Angela Hewitt's freshly minted, sharply honed interprestations will inspire recitalists to dust off these unsung treasures' (Classics Today)
The Bourrée fantasque is Chabrier’s final work for the piano and justifiably the most celebrated. It was composed in 1891, following a journey Chabrier made to his native Auvergne, the traditional dance of which is the Bourrée. The epithet seems badly chosen, unless Chabrier used ‘fantasque’ in the German sense of ‘fantasy’ and ‘phantasmagoric’. There seems to be a connection between this work and the celebrated frescoes of the Dance of Death in the Chaise-Dieu Abbey, close to Chabrier’s home town. Chabrier dedicated the work to the eighteen-year-old pianist Édouard Risler, warning him that each note presented a particular difficulty to be overcome, and that he had counted 113 different sonorities in the piece! The first part consists almost entirely of motifs of repeated notes (similar to the Andalusian zapateado) interspersed with tiny ascending phrases played staccato. Once again we encounter Chabrier’s inordinate penchant for staccato playing, which gives a percussive and very modern character to his works. The second section is, as it should be, more lyrical and expressive with sporadic violent episodes and repeats of the initial zapateado. The end is a veritable firework display in sound.

from notes by Jean-Paul Sévilla © 2006
English: Roland Smithers

La Bourrée fantasque est la toute dernière œuvre que Chabrier consacra au piano, et la plus justement célèbre. Elle fut écrite en 1891 à la suite d’un voyage que fit Chabrier dans sa terre natale, dont la Bourrée est la danse traditionnelle. L’épithète me semble mal choisie, à moins que Chabrier n’ait donné à l’adjectif «fantasque» son acception germanique, plus proche du fantasme et de la fantasmagorie. J’ai toujours fait un rapprochement entre cette œuvre et la célèbre fresque de la Danse Macabre que l’on trouve à l’abbaye de la Chaise Dieu, toute proche de la ville natale de Chabrier. C’est au tout jeune pianiste Édouard Risler, à peine âgé de dix huit ans, que Chabrier dédie cette œuvre en le prévenant qu’elle comporte pour chaque note une difficulté à résoudre et qu’il a compté dans tout le morceau cent treize sonorités différentes! La première partie repose presque entièrement sur des motifs en notes répétées, proche du zapateado andalou, entre lesquels s’insèrent de petits dessins ascendants, staccato. Notons ici encore le goût immodéré de Chabrier pour le jeu détaché, qui donne une couleur percussive d’allure très moderne à ses œuvres. Le deuxième volet est, comme il se doit, plus lyrique et expressif, avec de ci de là, des attaques violentes et des rappels du zapateado initial. La fin est un véritable feu d’artifice sonore.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jean-Paul Sévilla © 2006

Bei der Bourrée fantasque handelt es sich um Chabriers letzte Klavierkomposition und berechtigterweise auch um die bekannteste. Das Werk entstand 1891, nachdem Chabrier von einer Reise in seine heimatliche Auvergne, deren traditioneller Tanz die Bourrée ist, zurückgekehrt war. Der Beiname scheint schlecht gewählt, es sei denn Chabrier gebrauchte das Wort „fantasque“ im Sinne der deutschen Verwendung von „Phantasie“ oder „phantasmagorisch“. Es scheint eine Verbindung zwischen dem Werk und den berühmten Totentanz-Fresken in der Abtei von Chaise-Dieu nahe Chabriers Heimatort zu geben. Chabrier widmete das Werk dem jungen, gerade einmal achtzehnjährigen Pianisten Édouard Risler, wobei er ihn warnte, daß jeder Ton für eine besondere Schwierigkeit stehe, die es zu überwinden gelte, und daß er im ganzen Stück 113 verschiedene Klangfarben gezählt habe! Der erste Teil besteht fast ausschließlich aus Motiven von wiederholten Tönen (ähnlich einem andalusischen Zapateado), unterbrochen von winzigen, ansteigenden Phrasen im staccato. Wieder einmal trifft man hier auf Chabriers ungeheuere Vorliebe für das staccato-Spiel, welches seinen Werken einen perkussiven und modernen Charakter verleiht. Wie es sich gehört, ist der zweite Teil lyrischer und ausdrucksvoller mit sporadischen Episoden von großer Heftigkeit und Wiederholungen des anfänglichen Zapateados. Der Schluß ist ein wahres Klangfeuerwerk.

aus dem Begleittext von Jean-Paul Sévilla © 2006
Deutsch: Bettina Reinke-Welsh

Other albums featuring this work

Chabrier: Piano Music
This album is not yet available for downloadSACDA67515Super-Audio CD — Deleted
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