This welcome issue brings together for the 1st time on disc all the works by the great Swiss composer Frank Martin (1890-1974) for solo piano, piano 4-hands or 2 pianos. CD 1 covers the weightier solo pieces, not only the '8 Preludes,' the 'Fantasy on Flamenco Rhythms' and 'Guitare' (a transcription of the '8 Short Pieces' for guitar), but 3 shorter works, all excellent. CD 2 is generally lighter in tone, leading off with a sparkling version ……Highly recommended.Nicholas A. Deutsch @ Amazon.com
Jean Roger-Ducasse was born in Bordeaux on 18 April 1873. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1892 and in 1895, along with Ravel, joined the composition class of Gabriel Faure. In 1902 he won the second Grand Prix de Rome with his cantata Alcyone, with Ravel gaining fourth prize. He had a very active role in musical life in Paris founding the Societe Musicale Independante in 1909 and gaining the position of inspector general for the teaching of singing in Paris schools in 1910.
Michael Nyman (born 1944) is one of the most famous and successful film music composers of our time. His music, although inextricably connected with the visual action of a film, has the quality to stand on its own, to evoke and express the visual emotions in sounds only. Nyman’s most famous film score is of the film “The Piano” , becoming an instant hit. Its openness and its deceptively simple musical lines appealed to a mass audience. The music featured on this recording is either originally written for piano or arranged by the composer himself. Minimal Music champion Jeroen van Veen has been fascinated by Nyman’s music his whole life, and the recording of it was a logical step. He is the ideal interpreter of this seductive, mind opening music.
It is good to note the present resurgence of interest in Frank Martin on record, and to welcome this premiere recording of the Piano Concerto No. 1 of 1933-4. Martin was already in his early forties by the time he came to write his First Concerto and it bears many of the fingerprints one recognizes from such mature works as the Petite symphonie concertante and the Concerto for seven wind instruments. Gieseking, who gave the first performance with Ansermet and the Suisse Romance, appears not to have given a particularly convincing account of the solo part, but the work …..Robert Layton @ Gramophone.co.uk
Le vin herbé was written by the reclusive Swiss composer, Frank Martin (1890-1974), in the late 1930s. It was conceived originally in response to a commission from Robert Blum for his Züaut;rcher Madrigalchor – as a miniature, at 30 minutes. And with minimum instrumental forces supporting a dozen voices. As Le philtre, Martin's first exploration of the Tristan and Isolde story was restricted to the love potion part of Joseph Bédier's retelling and was first performed in April 1940. But Martin – not wanting to relinquish his fascination with the legend – decided ……Mark Sealey @ Classical.net
A real rarity from Hyperion’s Anglo-Australian artistic collaboration: music by an Australian composer who was once at the heart of the English establishment. Malcolm Williamson was one of many Australian creative artists who relocated to Britain in the mid-twentieth century. Within a decade of settling in London he had established a reputation as one of the most gifted and prolific composers of his generation. His stature as a leading figure within the British music scene was publicly acknowledged in 1975 when he was appointed to the esteemed post of Master of the Queen’s Music in succession to Sir Arthur Bliss. But today he is almost forgotten and his music virtually never performed.
"…The pianist, Chia Chou, deserves particular praise for his wide dynamic and tonal range: the arpeggiated patterns suggest reserves of tonal weight; elsewhere he articulates individual notes with a delicate, crystalline ping. Clear, warm, and appealing sound reproduction further enhances the proceedings. Enthusiastically recommended, particularly to devotees of the French Romantics." ~musicweb-international
"…The Mozart Piano Quartet provide these works with enthusiastic advocacy and MDG’s sound is a model of clarity and natural balance – just like Bonis’s music” ~Grammophone
10 CD box set celebrating the work of the German Beethoven-pianist of international renown, Wilhelm Backhaus. It contains all of his concert recordings, the most popular sonatas and waltz-variations.