Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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I had in mind a long challenging journey; you can imagine the ascent of a high mountain, or something more psychological—fortunately one doesn’t have to be specific, and surely one of the joys of listening is that everybody brings their own life experiences to bear.
Phase one is slow and thoughtful, which you could regard as waking from sleep and pondering the task ahead. A far more active phase follows, mostly optimistic with hints of something heroic. With phase three we enter a mysterious, foggy world with the blurred outlines of mysterious shapes. Phase four, by contrast, is relentlessly rhythmic with a steady pulse, becoming ever more dramatic; the idea of struggling against formidable odds was uppermost in my mind. A short break in tension follows, a prelude to a return of the optimistic music heard in phase two. Again this subsides and the thoughtful, quiet opening music returns briefly. This proves to be preparation for the final main section, with its confirmation of A major, and the summit. At the very end, we hear the quiet rising scales from the opening, this time high in the violins; is this exhaustion? Or perhaps a hollow victory?
from notes by Christopher Gunning © 2021