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Instrumental, page 20

   Found CDs: 1181

Szymanowski in Russia - Olga Sobakina -Piano Cycles

Szymanowski in Russia - Olga Sobakina -Piano Cycles
ID: CR103
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

12.00 eur Buy

Olga Kotlyarova - piano. Ravel, Durlet, Rachmaninov

Olga Kotlyarova - piano. Ravel, Durlet, Rachmaninov
ID: CR101
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

12.00 eur Buy

Protégé - Liszt - Reubke - Piano Sonatas - Anthony Hewitt, piano

Protégé - Liszt  - Reubke - Piano Sonatas - Anthony Hewitt, piano
ID: DDA25064
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Chamber Music

12.00 eur Temporarily out of stock

Claude Debussy - Pieces for piano solo - Leonora Milà

Claude Debussy - Pieces for piano solo - Leonora Milà
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

1981-Lp (reissued on Lp in 1985 and on Cd in 1995)

Suite pour le piano (Claude Debussy)
Estampes (Claude Debussy)
Images from Count Berenguer IV
of the Catalan Court (Leonora Milà)
Rondo brilliant number 2, Op. 20 (Leonora Milà)
Nocturne number 2, Op. 23 (Leonora Milà)
Toccata number 1, Op. 32 (Leonora Milà)
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SHORT CUTS - Apollo Saxophone Quartet

SHORT CUTS - Apollo Saxophone Quartet
ID: QTZ2012
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Saxophone

The Apollo Saxophone Quartet's vibrant and energetic exploration of portugese music is full of unexpected treasures. Encompassing a kaleidoscopic range of styles, including classical, rock, post-minimalist, jazz and experimental influences, this is one of the most colourful discs to be recently released on Quartz.

Short Cuts

Luis Tinoco - Short Cuts
(Commissioned with funds made available by The Arts Council of England North West)
My main purpose is to play with two possible meanings for "short cuts". That is, both with the idea of sharp and cutting musical gestures and the idea of taking a different, shorter, path to reach a specific destination. LuisTinoco

Luis Tinoco (b.1969, Lisbon) attained his First Degree in composition at the Escola Superior de M? de Lisboa where he studied under Ant󮩯 Pinho Vargas and Christopher Bochmann. He was then awarded scholarships by the Centro Nacional de Cultura and, later on, by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to complete a Masters degree in composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with Paul Patterson. Tinoco lectures in Composition and Analysis at the Escola Superior de M. de Lisboa. He wrote and presented A Century's Score - a 20th / 21st century music program for the RDP-Portuguese Radio Broadcast - from 2000 to 2003, and he is now the author of a new program, The Sound's Geography. He is also a founder and member of the Artistic Direction for the contemporary music ensemble OrchestrUtopica.

Carlos Azevedo - Sun Flower

The title "Sun Flower" is purely descriptive. My goal was to create ambiences that could be related to light and shadow, by using light and dark sonorities. The contrast between faster and slower gestures creates an idea of gradual movement from darkness to luminosity. In the sunflower's search for light, the piece derives a sense of purpose and drama. Carlos Azevedo

Carlos Azevedo (b.1964, Vila Real) studied composition at the Escola Superior de M. e Artes do Espectaculo in Porto and with George Nicholson at Sheffield University, where he received his MPhil in composition. Since 1997, Azevedo has been active as composer, conductor and pianist for the Matosinhos Jazz Orchestra. He is also leader of the Carlos Azevedo Ensemble and, as a jazz pianist, he has performed all over Portugal. His work In Motion was played by the Porto Symphony Orchestra in honour of Porto being the European Cultural Capital for 2001. He is currently a teacher of Analysis at the Escola Superior de Me Artes do Espectaculo in Porto.

Christopher Bochmann - Movements

Each movement is little more than a miniature. One, three, four and seven provide the backbone to the work: their duration is controlled and they define the underlying direction that moves from an immovable sustained music to a frenetically mobile music. The first movement is an introduction, a presentation of the germ-material. The second is an Alto solo, outlining many of the possible implications of this material. The third and fourth are of an almost canonic rigour. The fifth explores certain consonances that emerge from the material. The sixth provides a link between the fifth and seventh: it is improvisational in spirit but prepares the freneticism of the final movement. Christopher Bochmann

Christopher Bochmann (b.1950, Chipping Norton) was a chorister at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and then went on to Radley College. He studied privately with Nadia Boulanger in Paris before going up to New College, Oxford, where he worked with David Lumsden, Kenneth Leighton and Robert Sherlaw Johnson. He was also a pupil of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett in London. Bochmann has taught in Britain and in Brazil, and since 1980 has lived and worked in Lisbon, Portugal. He is Head of Composition at the Escola Superior de M de Lisboa, of which he was also Director from 1995 to 2001. In 2003, he published the first treatise on Harmony in the Portuguese language for over fifty years (A Linguagem Harmónia do Tonalismo). As a composer he has won a number of prizes including the Lili Boulanger Award (twice) and the Clements Memorial Prize. In 1999, he received the degree of Doctor of Music from Oxford University.

Joao Madureira - Loop

Loop, is the name of a small sax quartet based on a constantly shifting harmonic puzzle, giving the impression of a never ending process - which comes suddenly to an end. Joao Madureira

Joao Madureira (b.1971, Lisbon) graduated in Composition Studies at the Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa in 1994, where his composition masters were António Pinho Vargas and Christopher Bochmann. In 1995 Madureira attended Franco Donatoni's classes in Siena and between 1997 and 2000 he graduated in Composition at the Hochschule fur Musik? where he studied with York Holler. Finally, he studied with Ivan Fedele at the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique de Strassbourg until June 2003. Between 1998 and 2000 he benefited from a scholarship granted by the Centro Nacional de Cultura in Lisbon. In October 1998 Madureira's work Poem? was awarded the ACARTE / Maria Madalena Azeredo Perdig Prize, of the Gulbenkian Foundation. In 2003 he was invited to be composer-in-residence at the OrchestrUtopica. Joao Madureira teaches Composition Graduation Courses at both the Escola Superior de M? de Lisboa and the Escola Superior de Musica e Artes do Espectaculo do Porto.

Mario Laginha - Is this a Fugue?

Is this a fugue? Yes, it is.

Actually, it's the result of a great attraction that I have for this technique. As in other fugues I have written, I have tried to place this one in a musical universe that flirts with jazz but doesn't pretend to be jazz. Mario Laginha

Mario Laginha (b. 1960 Lisbon) studied classical music at the National Conservatory where his teachers included Jorge Moyano and Carla Seixas and subsequently received the Bach and the Teresa Vieira Awards. Jazz, however, has been always his main love. He has played with musicians such as Julian Arguelles, Wayne Shorter, Ralph Towner, Dino Saluzzi, Manu Katch, Django Bates, Bernardo Sassetti, Pedro Burmester and Trilok Gurtu. As a composer and musician Laginha has been very closely linked to singer Maria Joao together they have made eight albums and have played in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. Over the past 10 years Mario Laginha has written for the Metropolitan Lisbon Orchestra, N.D.R Hamburg Big Band, Drumming, Remix Ensemble, Porto Symphonic Orchestra, and has recorded twelve albums.

Christopher Bochmann - Essay XIII (Rob Buckland - solo alto saxophone)

The first part is a sort of Moto Perpetuo based on a 7-note figure, with a lot of timbre trills. It reaches its climax with a sequence of multiphonics. The second part provides a contrast, with its long expressive cantabile sounds. This central part can be seen to be divided in four sections: the first sings in a middle register; the second hovers around a low E; the third explores the instrument?s high register; the fourth returns to the atmosphere of the first. The third and last part is a free development of all the musical material heard in the first two parts. There is no recapitulation as such although there are clear references to the material of the opening music. Christopher Bochmann

Pedro Moreira - 12 Tones in a Row

12 Tones in a Row is a short piece using basic serial procedures. The various melodic forms are intended to be very easily recognizable. There are several improvised sections. In these improvisations the resulting sonority still consists of 12 note aggregates. Like other forms of "harmonic" improvisation, the challenge is to find a place somewhere between freedom and restriction. After the introduction, more lyrical in character, the piece has a relaxed, playful feeling. Like a child playing with notes. In this case, 12 notes. Pedro Moreira

Pedro Moreira (b.1969, Lisbon). In 1985 Pedro Moreira performed extensively in Portugal's Jazz festivals and also toured the United States, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Mozambique, South Africa and the Ivory Coast. With his band he recorded Luandando (Movieplay), with Freddie Hubbard. He has also studied classical saxophone, theory and acoustics at the Lisbon National Conservatory. In 1996 he moved to New York. In 1998 he attained a Bachelor's degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School University. In 2000 he completed a Master's degree in Classical Composition at the Mannes College of Music. In 1998 Moreira received the Down Beat Music Student Award, in the categories of "Best Jazz Group" and ?Outstanding Performance". He has collaborated as musical assistant in Herbie Hancock's Gershwin's World (Verve) and Wayne Shorter's Alegria (Verve). In 2000 the Stuttgart Philharmonic performed one of his orchestrations, commissioned by the German group Tango Five. He has also performed with Dave Liebman, Joe Chambers, Bobby Short, Benny Golson & Eddie Henderson.

Christopher Bochmann - Lampoons (2004) for Tenor Saxophone
(Andy Scott - solo tenor saxophone)

The title Lampoons is suggested by the characteristic exaggeration that is common to most aspects of the piece. The first movement gravitates towards one particular note which is repeatedly presented with different melodic arabesques, not unlike a muezzin's call to prayer. The second movement is a presentation of some extended techniques that border on mere "effect", thus denuding the musical argument of much of its subtlety. The third movement is a frenzied exploration of the virtuosic side of instrumental technique, at the end of which the player and the drama of the music are left drained. Nothing is left for more than a coda by suggestion. Christopher Bochmann

Pedro Moreira - Lola Bye

Brahms was a master of counterpoint and melodic fluency. In this piece, melodic fluency is taken to an extreme, consisting mainly of variations of interval class 1 (the semi-tone in all of its transformations). It could also represent those parents trying to sing Wiegenlied, but getting angry because the baby won?t fall asleep. Pedro Moreira

Bernardo Sassetti - Smoking Aria

All airports have a smoking area. This one is a smoking ?aria? where people meet, smoke starts twisting in the air and everybody starts dancing like crazy. Smoking Aria is based on a traditional Brazilian rhythm known as the Bai you might feel inspired to picture yourself smoking away on a huge Brazilian cigar! My idea was to build a very specific groove and develop variations throughout the piece. Personally the most interesting passages are when the music deconstructs itself into different parts, rhythms and accents. But all these parts (paths) lead to the same road (the main groove and melody). Bernardo assetti

Bernardo Sassetti (b.1970, Lisbon) began as a classical pianist but later devoted himself to Jazz, Horace Parlan and Sir Roland Hanna. He started his professional career in 1987, showcased in the Carlos Martins quartet and the Moreiras Jazztet. He has played with Andy Sheppard, Art Farmer, Kenny Wheeler, Freddie Hubbard, Paquito D?Rivera, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Eddie Henderson, Charles McPherson, Steve Nelson, the United Nations Orchestra and in the quintet of Guy Barker. Recently, he formed a duo with pianist and composer Mario Laginha. Recordings as a leader include "Salsetti" (1994) and "Mundos" (1996), as well as in his Suites "Ecos de Africa", "Sons do Brasil" and "Suite Iberica". Bernardo has also been extremely active as a film composer. He recently participated in the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley dir. Anthony Minguella, recording My Funny Valentine and Tu Vuo? Fa L'Americano with Matt Damon, Jude Law and Fiorello, and You Don't Know What Love Is with the Scottish singer John Martyn. He also co-wrote with Guy Barker, a series of compositions to be premiered at the world openings of this movie held in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, London and Rome.
12.00 eur Buy


ID: QTZ2011
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

The first volume in the Gould Piano Trio's series of the complete Piano Trios by Johannes Brahms.
The Gould Trio is one of the most acclaimed young chamber ensembles to emerge from the UK in recent years and have toured many of the great international concert halls and festivals.

Brahms Piano Trios - Volume One

Of all the great composers, Brahms is probably the one we know least about. A passionately private man, he left few clues to the workings of his musical mind - unlike, say, Beethoven, there are no sketch books showing how his musical ideas evolved, just the final finished products. Anything that did not meet his exacting standards was destroyed; here is a composer who destroyed more string quartets and symphonies than he left behind. There is just a single exception, and that is the B major Piano Trio, written in 1853-4, at the height of his worship of Schumann when Brahms was twenty-one, and then revised in 1889, just before he started to withdraw into a semi-retirement from composing. By the time of the later version, the old version had a wide currency and was a popular piece. The revised version is undoubtedly finer, combining that youthful fire with the experience that the intervening years had brought him, and it is this version that is recorded here.
The opening retains its noble, sweeping idea from the original, a long singing melody, full of potential and implications, the unusual choice of key adding a warm glow. This immediately announces the scale of the piece as something equal to, say, Schubert?s final piano sonatas. After working this material to a focal point, Brahms then writes a contrasting idea. In the first version of the piece, the continuity breaks down, with a rather four-square idea, but in the revised version the continuity is such that the new theme - still retaining its own identity - grows naturally and seamlessly out of the first idea. The next section, after the themes have been stated is very different between the two versions, the first including an amazing if rather strenuous fugal passage, while the second has a density that Brahms found in old age. The piano figuration here is also far removed from the virtuoso of his youth, with clarity of texture of paramount importance. The restatement of all the material after this has a complete sense of maturity in the final version, a fusion of the two ideas and at the end, a sense of stasis, of recollection and of summing up. Listeners who know the late collections of piano pieces will recognise the fingerprints of the composer at his best here.

In all, Brahms pruned the first movement from 494 bars to 290, all in the interests of concision. The Scherzo has no such changes: mere details are changed along the way and a new coda is added, more successful and effective in preparing a slowing down of pace before the slow movement than the original, with its Mendelssohnian pizzicato version of the main theme. Listening to his Op 4 Scherzo for piano, we can sense how the youthful Brahms found such music more straight-forward than in old age, although in the overall context of this work, the Scherzo does not sound out of place. In later life, Brahms generally preferred to compose intermezzo type movements instead of scherzos - for example, only the last of the four symphonies has a Scherzo, and that of a more "symphonic" definition. The slow movement is again quite different in the two versions, the opening chorale-like idea is allowed to expand in a way that Brahms restricts in the later version and the faster section, which provided contrast, is replaced by a passionate, rather sad theme, first given to the cello. Brahms once told his pupil Jenner that a long Adagio was "the most difficult" to sustain, hence, maybe, his original solution. The mood of the revised is much more restrained and where, in the original, the audience had to be content with a brief reminiscence of the opening theme, Brahms provides a fuller restatement, with musing improvisatory figures for the piano when the strings give out their answering phrase. A harmonic shift provides tension in this closing section and, though resolved quickly, the after-effects can be felt at the start of the last movement, the only serious attempt to dislodge the key of B - major or minor - in the whole of the work. The shadowy figures eventually give way to a carefree contrasting idea, which was an addition in the revision. Clara Schumann had not been uncritical of the first version but the theme that this replaced was special to her. In Schumann's music there is an element of quotation which appealed to the young Brahms, and the theme originally at this point was a direct quotation from Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte. The symbolic significance of this quotation would not have been lost on Clara, at a time when her husband was desperately ill and it was the only part of the revision she disliked, telling Brahms that the new idea was "repellent." The restatement is varied, but structurally similar to the opening of the movement and the coda, based on the first theme, dispels any lingering doubts. Again a swathe of material was removed in this movement: almost two hundred bars are cut.

Brahms said of his new version of the piece, "I did not provide it with a wig, but merely combed and arranged its hair a little." The opportunity had come to revise the Trio as a result of a new publisher taking over his works and offering a reprint of any revisions of slight weaknesses in the early works. He must have been surprised by the extent of Brahms? touching up of this Trio and yet the miracle is how the old thematic material sits side by side with a new leaner structure, without a hint of inconsistency. Still Brahms could not make up his mind, when he finally got around to sending the publisher his revised Trio. "I must state that the old one is bad, but do not maintain that they new one is good!" That the new version speaks so directly to audiences, with none of the complexity of the older work is what has secured its place in the repertory.

The C major Trio was finished in 1882, twenty-eight years after the B major though the opening Allegro was composed in 1880. Both Summers were spent in Ischl, a spot which seems to have opened the floodgates of inspiration for Brahms (the last three movements were written in the space of a single month). The most withdrawn of his Symphonies, the Third, dates from just after this time, and its reflective mood is predicted here in this Trio. The piano's had developed enormously during the middle of the nineteenth century and in chamber works where it is partnered by strings, its power had sometimes proved quite a tour de force for the strings; Brahms on the other hand provides a most effective balance between the strings and piano with the sort of writing which was to distinguish itself again the Double Concerto (here pitted against the orchestra) written at the end of the same decade.

The rich flow and invention of the opening movement is the equal of the finest of the Classical period. one of its especial beauties is the heart of the movement where the opening theme takes on a lyrical guise, which returns in the lively coda. The slow movement is a set of five variations on a wistful folk-like melody. An important motif source is the syncopation which runs throughout the theme, deliberately holding back the inherent liquidity until the final variation.

The Scherzo is a threatening affair, with diminished sevenths running though the harmonic fabric of the movement, a harsh contrast to the open diatonicism of the central section. The Finale is, like the first movement, in a tightly constructed sonata form. Brahms is in assertive mood and his pride in the works is fully evident in every small detail.

Copyright: Mike George

Gould Piano Trio:

The Gould Piano Trio have established a reputation as one of the most stylish and versatile ensembles performing today. Highly regarded in the field of chamber music, they enjoy a career that takes them to major venues in the UK and overseas. Chosen as British Rising Stars for the 1998-9 season, the Trio has performed in such prestigious venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts, Birmingham Symphony Hall and major halls in Paris, Cologne, Athens and Vienna.
Festival appearances have included Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, Spoleto and the BBC Proms, whilst overseas travels have taken them to New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan, South America and most European countries. They regularly tour to the USA, performing in the Lincoln Center, Weil Hall and at the Frick Collection. In the UK they appear at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, LSO St. Luke's, Queen's Hall Edinburgh, and they will be giving one of the first chamber concerts at The Sage, Gateshead as part of an Arts Council-sponsored "Around the Country" national tour. Both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic have invited the Trio to perform James MacMillan's chamber works at their forthcoming festivals. Frequent broadcasts from these venues have made the Goulds a familiar ensemble to listeners of BBC Radio 3. The Trio have recorded CDs of trios by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Smetana and Bax, as well as a cover disc for the BBC Music Magazine. This CD, the first in a series for Quartz, will be followed by a further volume of Brahms Trios, the premiere recordings of the trios of Robert Fuchs and the Tchaikovsky Trio. In 1999 the Trio started its own annual chamber music festival in Corbridge.

The Gould Piano Trio have been the recipients of many national and international awards; First Prize at the Charles Hennen Competition in Holland was followed by joint First Prize in the inaugural Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in Australia. At the 1993 Premio Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence they were awarded the audience prize in addition to the overall First Prize. In the UK the Trio have won awards from the Tillett and John Tunnell Trusts. As part of their commitment to extending the piano trio repertoire, the Goulds have commissioned works and performed many contemporary pieces. They enjoy coaching young ensembles and giving workshops in schools.
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60 BUDDHAS - Instrumental

60 BUDDHAS - Instrumental
ID: QTZ2007
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental

Equally at home in clubs and concert halls, Instrumental seamlessly crosses the divide between classical and dance music. 60 Buddhas is a compellingly original album featuring new works by Instrumental, Joby Talbot and Orbital.

60 Buddhas
I wrote Duno on a borrowed 4 track (big thanks Sez) and basically set out to write an acoustic Techno track. I liked the idea of writing on the cello as I've always been a bit daunted when working on paper. I'd been listening to a lot of dance music (I think we'd been to Ibiza that year!) and loved the way it built up layer on layer and tried to recreate that excitement in the track. The bass and cello 'hits' give the piece it's four-on-the-floor feel which I love and Andy W added a hi-hat in the second half which really sets it up. Andy N.
Piano - This track came to life with the rolling bass and house piano riff - a hybrid of house and latin with intricate string parts adding to the restlessness. This is heightened by the bass loop having a feel of 6/8 7/8 against the relentless 4/4 of the piano. Catherine

Bathtime - Recognised as Gods of the electronic dance arena, Orbital have been exploring other avenues with their music, composing for television and film. The Hartnoll brothers have been big fans of Instrumental since the group re-interpreted Forever and jumped at the chance to write a piece for them. Their piece is constructed around a melody Paul kept hearing in his head whilst Orbital were on tour in the USA in 2001/2. With this project, the tune reaches its final culmination: I really wanted to hear it in the string environment, performed by a group with such musicianship. This is a great opportunity to put the word "composer" after our name.

Harp - Essentially a simple ascending harp line repeated and layered at different starting points. As the piece evolved I became fascinated and absorbed by what I could hear beyond the written score - the sounds and overtones created by the dense chord clusters. The pizzicato string parts add further layers and textures so that the effect as a whole is, I hope, meditative and hypnotic. Catherine

It'll Come was written in 2001, squeezed in while caring for 2 year old son Arthur so possibly inspired by him! I think it shows a bit of the Steve Reich influence and the minimalist style generally. I also wanted players to have solos to achieve the "Instrumental" sound. Sally Lachrymosa - A grieving soul sits in open countryside. One obsessive thought maddeningly echoes without variation. The natural sounds soon begin to gently soothe and the emotional pain gradually lessens due to the comforting and curative of mother nature's salve. Brian

Spacefish - Joby Talbot is one of the most exciting composers working in the UK today. His classical music, television scores and pop collaborations are performed and broadcast all over the world. He formed The Divine Comedy with Neil Hannon in 1993 and has also worked with Michael Nyman and Ute Lemper. His piece for Instrumental is called Spacefish which he says was; inspired by a photograph my wife Claire took at the London Aquarium recently. It shows some rather curious looking carp apparently floating in mid air. The piece is very fast and features a 'viral' bass line which gradually infects the whole piece. With Ising I wanted a joyful upbeat sound. The Asian feel was a bit of an accident - I love that slidey string sound. It was originally in two sections which we built on while recording, lots of great ideas from Instrumentalists included. Sally

60 Buddhas (for R) - I first visited Cafe del Mar in 1992, when it was a solitary building on the outskirts of San An. Through the nineteen nineties, the chill out ethos, of which Cafe del Mar was a major exponent, grew to global proportions, and now it is one of many pre bars and cafe on the Ibizan sunset strip. Returning with Instrumental to play the sundown set at the 20th Anniversary celebration was personally very special for me. (I must also mention the gig we played at Kumharas, for one of the most receptive and informed crowds we've known). I vowed on leaving the island, to write a sunset track and this is it. Catherine

Andy W's Production Biography - After years of trying to find the right thing to do I suddenly found myself learning how to engineer this album! It was quite a shock but as it grew so did we and the results are pretty good. I found the production side suited my late-night nature and I spent many happy hours fiddling around after everyone else had gone home! The group all added their own stuff to the process and the long days and nights have culminated in an album of music which defies description but is exciting and moving. Enjoy. Andy W
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GERSHWIN - NEW YORK CONNECTIONS - Elizabeth Hayes, piano

GERSHWIN - NEW YORK CONNECTIONS - Elizabeth Hayes, piano
ID: QTZ2005
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

A fascinating exploration of piano works by American composers whose lives, in some way, have been touched by New York. "These pieces seemed tied inextricably with the American personality and culture", says Elizabeth Hayes of this programme, "at times warm and intimate, at others dazzling and extroverted, capturing an essence of blue-grass, jazz, hoe-downs and a cool, lyrical modernity".

Gershwin: New York Connections
I was performing Maple Leaf Rag, The Entertainer and some of the Gershwin Songbook as part of a recital programme. An American friend asked if I played Joplin's Solace, and so later that month I sat down with a couple of scores of Joplin's rags and found them exhilarating. I wanted to explore the American piano repertoire more fully.
I had performed Rhapsody in Blue several times with orchestras, but never properly explored the solo piano version. I was already familiar with Samuel Barber's works, but had yet to include any in my programmes.

I had the chance later that year of visiting New York for the first time, and loved it. I began to connect together a programme of American composers whose lives had touched New York. These pieces seemed tied inextricably with the American personality and culture - at times warm and intimate, at others dazzling and extroverted, capturing an essence of blue-grass, jazz, hoe-downs and a cool, lyrical modernity.

So gradually this recording took shape; I hope it shows the colour and immediacy that I found.

George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn in 1898, and lived in New York for most of his life. In all of his music there is a vibrancy and colour: the bright lights of Broadway, the glamour of Hollywood. The Preludes were published in 1926. Nos. 1 and 3 are energetic, with moments of schmaltz. No.2 is essentially a blues piece - warm and tender with a simple melody over a strummed bass line.

Gershwin's success was born of the many songs from the shows he wrote with his brother Ira. He arranged several for solo piano, loving to sit and improvise at the many after-show parties. Who Cares? comes from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Of Thee I Sing, written in 1931, and has a modern feel. Fascinating Rhythm and The Man I Love came earlier, in 1924, the year of Rhapsody in Blue. I Got Rhythm was written in 1930 and is a larger-scale arrangement, with a change of key and style in the middle.

The piece that perhaps epitomises Gershwin's style more than any other is Rhapsody in Blue. Written in haste in 1924 when a mooted idea for a concert at the Aeolian Hall in New York became a reality, it is romantic, heart-on-sleeve music. A simple melodic and rhythmic idea forms the basis for the piece, which falls loosely into three sections, and he draws on many different influences in its composition: moments of ragtime, jazz and blues, as well as the work of more established composers such as Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.

Gershwin arranged the piece for solo piano in 1927, managing to keep the sense of a large-scale orchestral work while making some cuts to the original.

Aaron Copland's Four Piano Blues were written in 1949. More than any other composer he seems able to portray the sense of America's landscape and the cultural roots of its music. He was born in Brooklyn in 1900, living most of his life in New York City until his death in 1990.

Though he was known more widely for his large-scale orchestral works, Copland writes with intimacy and a very personal voice in these short pieces. Each has a descriptive performance direction: 1. Freely poetic; 2. Soft and languid; 3. Muted and sensuous; 4. With bounce.

Leonard Bernstein's Anniversaries are again intimate portraits, snap-shots of people in his life. He wrote several sets - these four are from 1948.

1. Dedicated to his wife, Felicia Montealegre - it shows sadness, beauty, a complex character, implicit tenderness. 2. For Johnny Mehegan, is sexy and dangerous - a foretaste perhaps of the music of West Side Story. Mehegan was a successful jazz pianist and close friend of Bernstein.

3. Written for the composer David Diamond - there is a seriousness here, but also a sensitivity. 4. For Helen Coates - a whirlwind of a piece, describing his assistant - a woman central to his career. It shows a brittle, pointed character, buzzing with energy and with a fiery temper.

Leonard Bernstein became connected with New York through his work with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1958, and was a friend and colleague of Copland, dying there the same year, 1990.

Samuel Barber wrote the four Excursions from 1942 to 1944, describing them as "excursions in small classical forms into regional American idioms...Their regional characteristics, as well as their sources in folk material and their scoring, reminiscent of local instruments, are easily recognised." Though sometimes labelled as "neo-Romantic", Barber's writing refuses to be pigeon-holed into one particular style, and these pieces show that diversity well.

The first is the only piece to show sophistication and dryness in its boogie-woogie bass line and rhythmic patterning. More dissonant than the others, it may reflect the city of New York where he lived for some years, dying there in 1981. No.2 has a feel of the deep south, a plaintive blues melody. The third is opulent and lush, with a vaguely Latin-American style. The cross-rhythms are complex, though the overall effect is very free and improvisatory. Finally there is a hoe-down; the fourth piece is exuberant and folksy, reminiscent of harmonica and fiddle-playing.

Scott Joplin was born in Texas in 1868, and spent the life of an itinerant ragtime pianist until moving to New York in 1911. He worked in the bars and jazz clubs of St. Louis and Chicago for many years, but was later able to gain an income from the publication of his rags - notably his first success, Maple Leaf Rag - named after the Maple Leaf Club of Sedalia, where he played for some time. The Entertainer has become perhaps his most famous composition - both this and Maple Leaf Rag encapsulate the elegance, subtlety and wit of Joplin's work. Magnetic Rag is an example of the later rags, more experimental in its harmonies, and with one of its sections in a minor key. It has the feel of an accompaniment to a silent movie, with a broader emotional scope than usual. Solace, subtitled A Mexican Serenade, is a much more personal statement, with a gentle melancholy and beautiful lyricism

Programme Notes by Elizabeth Hayes
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NOCTURNES - Junko Kobayashi, piano

NOCTURNES - Junko Kobayashi, piano
ID: QTZ2004
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

A beautiful, tranquil and contemplative collection exploring the Nocturne and other pieces inspired by night and dreams. Including some of the most exquisite Nocturnes of Chopin, but also featuring less familiar works by Granados, Poulenc, Satie and the world-premiere recording of the Three Nocturnes by British composer Graham Williams.


Piano Speaks Into The Night
The magical atmosphere of night has been an inspiration to generations of composers.

Irish composer and formidable piano virtuoso, John Field (1782-1837) was the first composer to use the title Nocturne - for his lyrical piano pieces (his Nocturnes were composed around 1812 to 1836). Italian operas, which he heard in Russia where he settled in his later years, greatly influenced his "cantabile" style.

Chopin admired Field's compositions and began to write Nocturnes himself. Chopin extended the emotional range and harmonic sophistication in his Nocturnes and created a landmark of this genre, which in turn inspired many later composers, especially French composers like Debussy and Faure to compose their own Nocturnes.

The tradition carries on and I'm happy to be able to include Three Nocturnes in this album, which was written for me by my friend, the composer Graham Williams.

I have also included Clair de Lune by Debussy and Laments, or The Maiden and the Nightingale , by Granados here, as they are beautiful night pieces, although they are not called Nocturne. Junko Kobayashi

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
Nocturnes, Op. 9
No. 1 in B flat minor - Larghetto No. 2 in E flat major - Andante No. 3 in B major ? Allegretto

The first set of Nocturnes Op. 9 was written in 1830-31 and published in 1832.

In No. 1, an operatic manner of ornamentation of the right-hand melody makes a striking impression. In No. 2, one can see the strongest influence of John Field. It is very concise and is also probably the most well-known of the Nocturnes. No. 3 is in ternary form; Allegretto in B major - Agitato in B minor - Allegretto in B major. JK.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Clair de Lune

Debussy's early piano works Clair de Lune and Nocturne were both composed in 1890. The beautiful Clair de Lune is perhaps one of the most loved works in the piano repertoire and it belongs to his Suite Bergamasque. Here his writing is already quite impressionistic, whereas his Nocturne is more song-like and romantic. JK.

Gabriel Faure (1845-1924)
Nocturne No. 10 in B minor

Nocturne No.10 in B minor was written in 1908. A simple two-note chromatic motif in the opening bar is repeated throughout the piece, modulating and developing to build a huge arch. The piece ends in a contemplative mood. JK.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Nocturne No. 1
Nocturne No. 4

Nocturne No.1 in C major was composed in 1929 and Nocturne No.4 in C minor in 1934.

For Nocturne No.4, Poulenc quoted a line from a novel, Le Visionnaire by his friend Julian Green and it describes a scene of a sick man hearing the distant sound of a ball and recollecting his own youth. JK.

Graham Williams
Three Nocturnes

Three Nocturnes were composed in 1999 and are dedicated to Junko Kobayashi. They are inspired by old Japanese poems.

Nocturne 1

Blue night road
The Sky full of stars
The blue night road
Seeming to lead to them
The distance village
Bathed in some blue-green wine
The first five lines of a poem by Tanaka Fuyuji(1894-1980)

Nocturne 2

High in the heavens the light remains unchanged
Over the ruined castle the midnight moon. Two lines from a poem by Tsuchii Bansui (1871-1952)

Nocturne 3

Harvest moon
And mist creeping
Over the water
Hattori Ransetsu (1654-1707)

Translated by Geoffrey Bownas

Graham Williams studied composition with Richard Rodney Bennett. He is a prolific composer and his works have received much critical acclaim both here and abroad as well as winning a number of prestigious awards. His orchestral works have been performed by such orchestras as the English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and the City of London Sinfonia. He has also composed a wide variety of chamber music for groups such as Lontano, the Lowbury piano Trio, the Brunel Ensemble and the Brindisi and Bingham Quartets. His works have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Classic FM and featured at many festivals.

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
En Reve - Nocturne

Written in 1885/6, it is one of the Liszt's very late compositions. It is strikingly simple and with its use of chromaticism it looks forward to a world of atonal music to come. JK.

Erik Satie (1866-1925)
from Cinq Nocturnes
Nocturne No. 3 Nocturne No. 5

The Cinq Nocturnes were composed in 1919, just before Satie started to write his Furniture Music. They are in simple ternary (ABA) form and very concise. In both pieces, the graceful and pure right hand melody is accompanied by arpeggiated left hand. JK

Enrique Granados (1867-1916)
Laments or The Maiden and the Nightingale

Granados composed an opera Goyescas in 1911 inspired by the paintings of Goya. Laments, or the Maiden and Nightingale is from his piano suite Goyescas. JK.

Edvard Grieg (1843 -1907)

Norwegian composer Grieg composed many Lyric Pieces and this Notturno is from Book 5 Op.54, which was written in 1891. Here one hears night birds singing too. JK.
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ID: QTZ2042
CDs: 1
Type: CD
Collection: Instrumental
Subcollection: Piano

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