WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bowen: Complete Solo 78-rpm Recordings

Bowen,York
Release Date: 01/13/2009 
Label:  Apr (Appian) Catalog #: 6007   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Robert SchumannFranz LisztIgnaz MoschelesPeggie Cochrane,   ... 
Performer:  York Bowen
Conductor:  Stanley Chapple
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
On sale! $21.98
CD:  $19.99
Low Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

The music of York Bowen (1884-1961) has gained a foothold in the CD catalog as more pianists discover his inventive Romantic keyboard idiom. However, Bowen himself was no mean pianist, and this first complete reissue of his 78-rpm recordings is most welcome. The collection begins with the 1925 recorded premiere of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto. Although the recording's acoustic technology renders the music's delicate orchestra/piano balances meaningless, you still can appreciate Bowen's rippling, symmetrical fingerwork (think Walter Gieseking) as well as more regimented and intonationally secure orchestral playing than that era's norm. Bowen's stylistically incongruous first-movement cadenza (a little Delius, a little Rachmaninov) is, to Read more paraphrase Arthur Loesser, pure "cream of corn."

If anything, Bowen's suave and characterful command of Beethoven's Op. 27 No. 1 sonata's first movement proves more impressive (he only recorded this one movement, unfortunately). His slightly less poised Op. 78 sonata interpretation contains interesting individual touches, such as the first movement's headlong, angular passagework, and his drawing out of the second movement's main theme.

The winged flexibility Bowen brings to the first movement of Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien helps us better digest the music's repetitive qualities. Bowen's light and sparkling Debussy Jardins sous la pluie and Second Arabesque easily stand with the 78-era's best, while he plays four of his own short pieces with expected authority and panache.

Not everything is memorable: certain Romantic warhorses (Liszt's Eglogue, Mendelssohn's Scherzo, Rachmaninov's G minor Prelude, Chopin's Third Ballade, Second Scherzo, A-flat Op. 34 No. 1 Waltz, and C-sharp minor Op. 26 No. 1 Polonaise) fall flat in the face of competing shellac versions (Hofmann in the Chopin Waltz, Friedman in the Mendelssohn, for instance). Yet you cannot discount Bowen's fastidious articulation of inner voices in the E minor Etude, nor his effortless, feathery left-hand figurations in the G major Prelude. In sum, this is a valuable collection all around, graced by Jonathan Summer's excellent annotations plus painstaking sound restoration by Ward Marston.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26: 1st movement, Allegro by Robert Schumann
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839-1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 7 Minutes 20 Secs. 
2. Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 7, Eglogue by Franz Liszt
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
3. Studies (24) for Piano, Op. 70: no 5 in A minor by Ignaz Moscheles
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825-1826; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
4. Le Ruisseau, for piano by Peggie Cochrane
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Written: 1925 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5. Pieces (8) for Piano, Op. 76: no 2, Capriccio in B minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1925 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
6. Fantasies or Caprices (3) for Piano, Op. 16: no 2 in E minor, Scherzo by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7. Etude mignonne, Op. 16 no 1 by Eduard Schütt
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
8. Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 6 Minutes 14 Secs. 
9. Scherzo for Piano no 2 in B flat minor/D flat major, B 111/Op. 31 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 7 Minutes 37 Secs. 
10. Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 1 in A flat major, B 94 "Valse brillante" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
11. Polonaises (2) for Piano, B 90/Op. 26: no 1 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 3 Minutes 50 Secs. 
12. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25: no 5 in E minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1834; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1927 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
13. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28: no 23 in F major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1927 
Length: 0 Minutes 59 Secs. 
14. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28: no 20 in C minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1927 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
15. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28: no 3 in G major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1927 
Length: 0 Minutes 56 Secs. 
16. Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5 in G minor, Alla marcia by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
17. Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 4, Polichinelle in F sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
18. Estampes (3) for Piano: no 3, Jardins sous la pluie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
19. Arabesques (2) for Piano: no 2 in G major, Allegretto scherzando by Claude Debussy
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1891; France 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
20. Pieces (5) for piano: 3. London Bridge by Henry Balfour Gardiner
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1911 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
21. Pieces (5) for piano: 5. Gavotte by Henry Balfour Gardiner
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1911 
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
22. Suite for piano No. 2, Op. 30: Finale. A Romp by York Bowen
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Written: circa 1910 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
23. The Way to Polden "An Ambling Tune", Op. 76 by York Bowen
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1925; England 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
24. Arabesque for piano, Op. 20/1 by York Bowen
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
25. Fragments from Hans Andersen, for piano, Op. 58: Thumbelina by York Bowen
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
26. Fragments from Hans Andersen, for piano, Op. 58: The Windmill by York Bowen
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Date of Recording: 1926 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
27. Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Conductor:  Stanley Chapple
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1925 
Length: 29 Minutes 17 Secs. 
28. Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826: Capriccio by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1920s 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
29. Sonata for Piano no 13 in E flat major, Op. 27 no 1 "Quasi una fantasia": 1st movement, Andante-Allegro by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801 
Date of Recording: 1920s 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
30. Sonata for Piano no 24 in F sharp major, Op. 78 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  York Bowen (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1927 
Length: 6 Minutes 31 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook