Andrzej Panufnik once wrote ‘Music gets its eternal beauty from an ideal balance of emotion and intellect’. Although Panufnik is primarily known as a composer of symphonies and large-scale orchestral pieces, his three original works for solo piano perfectly illustrate this motto. They are all highly crafted, demonstrating the composer’s fascination with mirror forms and symmetrical patterns.
Egisto Macchi has written two very good musical scores for two movies telling events of human history, filled with big drama and pain: “THE TROTSKY ASSASSINATION” directed by Joseph Losey in 1972 and “THE MATTEOTTI MURDER” directed by Florestano Vancini in 1973. All the Contemporary side of Egisto Macchi’s music powerfully explodes in these two scores, as complex and effective results of his work as a member of NUOVA CONSONANZA, a musical school touching the roots of “TROTSKY” and “MATTEOTTI” Both scores are recorded here for the first time. It gives Soundtracks collectors and music buffs a chance to enter a new and fascinating world, where orchestra and extraordinary electronic sounds are joined.
Playing together for the first time for Hyperion, Hough and Isserlis are stunningly matched in this large-scale passionate romantic programme. The sonatas stand at the centre of the meaty repertoire established by Brahms—whose two cello sonatas Steven Isserlis has recorded for us in an award-winning disc accompanied by Peter Evans (CDA66159)—and characterised by grand sweeping gestures, lush melody, and heartfelt emotions that sear from pathos to frenzy. The Franck is, of course, an alternative version the composer wished for his violin sonata, a transition that many feel to be the work's happiest incarnation.
What a good idea to couple Tchaikovsky's three fantasy overtures inspired by Shakespeare. José Serebrier writes an illuminating note on the genesis of each of the three, together with an analysis of their structure. He notes that once Tchaikovsky had established his concept of the fantasy overture in the first version of Romeo andJuliet in 1869 – slow introduction leading to alternating fast and slow sections, with slow coda – he used it again both in the 1812 Overture and Hamlet. The Tempest (1873) has similarly contrasting sections, but begins and ends with a gently evocative seascape, with shimmering arpeggios from strings divided in 13 parts. It's typical of Serebrier's performance that he makes that effect sound so fresh and original. In many ways, early as it is, this is stylistically the most radical of the three overtures here, with sharp echoes of Berlioz in some of the woodwind effects. The clarity of Serebrier's performance, both in texture and in structure, helps to bring that out, as does a warm and analytical BIS recording. Hamlet, dating from much later, is treated to a similarly fresh and dramatic reading, with Serebrier bringing out the yearningly Russian flavour of the lovely oboe theme representing Ophelia.