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The Gift of Music | CDs | Themed Collections | Romance of the Piano
Jane Austen Entertains
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The Romance of the PianoMartin SouterThe piano is the most expressive and evocative of instruments. At a pianist's fingertips is a sound world of infinite variety and beauty. No other musical instrument alone can conjure up a mood so quickly or vividly, or express the same range and depth of emotions. This collection of Romantic piano masterpieces celebrates the heyday of the piano during the 19th and 20th centuries.1 Intermezzo Op.18 no.2 Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)2 Prelude and Fugue in A major Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)3 Gymnopedie No. 3 Erik Satie (1866-1925)4 Musical Moment No. 1 Franz Schubert (1797-1828)5 Bruyères (Heather) Claude Debussy (1862-1918)6 Musical Moment No. 6 Franz Schubert 7 'Raindrop' Prelude Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)8 The Girl with the flaxen hair Claude Debussy9 Gymnopedie No. 2 Erik Satie10 Venetian Folksong Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)11 Song without Words No. 1 Felix Mendelssohn12 Prelude and Fugue in E major Johann Sebastian Bach 13 Prelude in E minor Fryderyk Chopin14 Prelude in B minor Fryderyk Chopin15 Gymnopédie No. 1 Erik SatieCover picture: Hans Looscher (Basket of Flowers) Gavin Graham Gallery/Bridgeman Art Library Recorded in the church of St Michael's and All Angels, Summertown, Oxford by kind permission of the Rev Anthony Gann and St Michael's District CouncilProduced by Simon HeighesEdited and mastered at Classical CommunicationsExecutive Producer Martin SouterOver 1 hour of musicCCL CDG1009P & C 1999 Classical CommunicationsMade in the Great BritainThe piano is the most expressive and evocative of instruments. At a pianist's fingertips is a sound world of infinite variety and beauty. No other musical instrument alone can conjure up a mood so quickly or vividly, or express the same range and depth of emotions. This collection of Romantic piano masterpieces celebrates the heyday of the piano during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when composers wore their hearts on their sleeves and Romance was often in the air. The passionate style of Johannes Brahms opens the programme in a piece of romantic intensity. Schubert, Chopin and Mendelssohn represent earlier generations of composers. Schubert's Musical Moments are gentle character pieces, exquisitely crafted miniatures. Mendelssohn's Song without Words and his Venetian Boat Song are filled with yearning and romance. The three preludes by Chopin are masterpieces of the piano composer's art. The Raindrop Prelude is the most famous, with its insistent repeated note around which Chopin weaves melodies of amazing beauty and finesse. The piece's central section is broody, fiery and mystical before the serene opening music returns. Erik Satie and Claude Debussy represent a later school of piano composition which still held true to the precepts of their musical forebears - beauty of sound and delicacy of style. Debussy's preludes conjure up moods and scenes from the mind - heather or moorland (track 5) or, more famously, The girl with the flaxen hair. Satie's Gymnopédies are masterpieces of static music in miniature. Sparsely written, they form ideal music to relax to with their simple textures and bell-like melodies. JS Bach's music crosses the centuries as freshly as ever. Its inner strength allows its transcription to almost any combination of musical instruments. This includes the piano, even though the sound is very foreign to Bach's original concept. The preludes and fugues recorded here blossom on the piano, sounding full and rich as Bach's amazing counterpoint unfolds.
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