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Track(s) taken from CDA67328

Visions, Op 111


Hamish Milne (piano)
Recording details: October 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: May 2002
Total duration: 3 minutes 59 seconds


'Hamish Milne’s poetic insight comes as no surprise … This is rather a find … Civilised, rewarding listening, warmly recommended to anyone for whom aesthetic novelty matters less than purely musical value' (Gramophone)

'Sumptuous recording, with brilliant and thoughtful playing by Hamish Milne … Piano enthusiasts looking for new material – especially those interested in Russian music – will certainly enjoy this' (American Record Guide)

'This is altogether exceptional playing … it made me want to dust down my two volumes of Alexandrov's music and take them straight to the piano to find out what other treasures they have in store. May it please be the first of several' (International Record Review)

'Hamish Milne, on this new Hyperion release is a persuasive advocate for this music … Recommended? But of course, and let’s hope that more Alexandrov appears, and soon' (Fanfare, USA)

'Imagine a cab ride where the driver is in the same league as Formula One driver Michael Schumacher. There’s something similar to be said for this Hyperion release, in which we have the privilege to hear a forgotten but phenomenal composer through the mind of such a distinguished and world-class pianist as Hamish Milne' (Pianist)

'Milne expounds all this music … with evident affection and belief, and with all the musicality and technical mastery it demands, in an absolutely first-rate recording' (International Piano)

'Hamish Milne believes in this music 125 percent, and he sails through the composer’s daunting challenges with complete technical command and a gorgeous tone to match' (Classics Today)

'On a envie de remercier le pianiste Hamish Milne pour son interprétation magnifique, très soignée, et surtout pour nous permettre de découvrir une musique aussi belle, doucement expressive et envoûtante’ (Répertoire, France)
Alexandrov was only able to finish two of the projected Visions, a cycle of seven pieces; when he composed them in 1979 he was already in his ninety-first year – they eventually appeared posthumously in 1988. Aimlessly repeated polymodal figurations, sudden hymnic flights and pale chains of chords merge here in a disturbing late style that, though standing completely outside other developments in the history of music, possesses without doubt great visionary power. That Alexandrov was able, at such a great age and after decades of artistic stagnation, to draw inspiration from such secretly slumbering sources, is astonishing evidence of his musical greatness which he had obscured and almost destroyed through a multitude of educational pieces, children’s songs, naïve folksong arrangements and light film music.

from notes by Christoph Flamm © 2002
English: Roland Smithers

Alexandrov ne put terminer que deux des Visions qu’il avait en projet, cycle de sept morceaux qu’il commença en 1979 alors qu’il avait déjà quatre-vingt onze ans. Elles seront publiées à titre posthume en 1988. Des lignes répétitives en plusieurs modes, des envolées rythmiques soudaines et de pâles chaînes d’accords fusionnent dans ce dernier style troublant du compositeur, qui bien qu’il figure hors d’autres développements de l’histoire de la musique n’en possède pas moins une grande force visionnaire. Nous avons, par ce style, la preuve qu’Alexandrov était encore capable, malgré son grand âge et après toutes ces décennies de stagnation créatrice, de tirer son inspiration de sources secrètes et en sommeil et de faire renaître sa grandeur musicale, obscurcie et presque détruite par une multitude de morceaux éducatifs, de chansons d’enfants, d’arrangements folkloriques naïfs et de musique de films légère.

extrait des notes rédigées par Christoph Flamm © 2002
Français: Marie Luccheta

Von einem auf sieben Stücke angelegten Zyklus Prozrenija (Visionen) op. 111 konnte Alexandrow 1979 – in seinem 91 Lebensjahr! – nur die ersten beiden beenden; sie erschienen 1988 postum im Druck. Ziellos repetierte polymodale Spielfiguren, plötzliche hymnische Aufschwünge und fahle Akkordketten vereinen sich hier zu einem verstörenden Spätstil, der ganz abseits der musikgeschichtlichen Entwicklung steht, aber zweifellos große visionäre Kraft besitzt. Dass Alexandrow in so hohem Alter und nach Jahrzehnten der künstlerischen Stagnation noch aus solchen gewissermaßen im Verborgenen schlummernden Quellen schöpfen konnte, ist ein erstaunliches Signum für seine tatsächliche musikalische Größe, die er selbst durch eine Unmenge an pädagogischen Klavierstücken, Kinderliedern, naiven Volksmusikbearbeitungen und unbeschwerten Filmmusiken verdeckt und fast erschlagen hatte.

aus dem Begleittext von Christoph Flamm © 2002

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