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Grainger: Rambles And Reflections / Piers Lane


Release Date: 07/09/2002 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67279   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  William ByrdJohn DowlandGeorge Frideric HandelCyril Scott,   ... 
Performer:  Piers Lane
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Like most pianist/composers of his generation, Percy Grainger was bitten by the transcription bug, and he tailored a wide variety of compositions from William Byrd to George Gershwin to suit his idiosyncratic keyboard virtuosity. Piers Lane rises to this repertoire's not-inconsiderable challenges in a judiciously programmed and brilliantly executed recital for Hyperion. It's true that Byrd's Carman's Whistle Variations, Dowland's Now, o now, I needs must part, Brahms' Lullaby, Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers, and the Hornpipe from Handel's Water Music can sound unnaturally upholstered due to Grainger's fondness for full, orchestrally-inspired sonorities (lots of hand-crunching chordwork and
Read more unwieldy octave doublings that sound easier than they are to play); but Piers Lane's suave fingerwork and splendid ear for textural differentiation save the day. Notice too how effortlessly Lane keeps the melody and accompanimental filigree in perspective throughout Fauré's Aprés un rêve and Nell. Lane also does a marvelous job with Grainger's unabashedly lush and affectionate treatment of Cyril Scott's Handelian Rhapsody, recorded here for the first time.


Although no one lets go at the climaxes in Ramble on Love (based on the Presentation of the Rose from Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier) with the abandon that Grainger himself displays in his two recordings of the piece, Lane's sensitive, polished rendition matches Marc-André Hamelin's earlier Hyperion recording. Lane slightly surpasses Hamelin in Maguire's Kick (the first of Stanford's Four Irish Dances) by virtue of his more forceful articulation of the ornaments and melodic turns. Lane saves one of Grainger's most bizarre and remarkable arrangements for last. "Lullaby" embeds Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races" in a haze of repeated notes representing what Grainger calls a "musical glasses" effect in the style and spirit of a marimbaphone. Grainger notates these gestures with surgical precision regarding dynamics and tempo, and the cumulative result proves nearly as hypnotic as the minimalist aesthetic they foreshadow. In sum, a Grainger anthology that easily stands with superb recorded efforts on behalf of the composer by the aforementioned Hamelin, Janine Sowden (ASV), and Martin Jones (Nimbus). [11/30/2002]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Carman's Whistle, MB 36 by William Byrd
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
2.
Firste Booke of Songes or Ayres: no 6, Now, o now, I needs must part by John Dowland
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1597; England 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
3.
Water Music, HWV 348-350: Hornpipe by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1715/1736; London, England 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
4.
Handelian Rhapsody by Cyril Scott
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
5.
Air and Dance by Frederick Delius
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
6.
Beautiful Fresh Flower by Traditional
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
7.
Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59: Mir ist..."Rose Presentation" by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909-1910; Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
8.
Songs (5), Op. 49: no 4, Wiegenlied by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Austria 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
9.
Après un rêve, Op. 7 no 1 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
10.
Nell, Op. 18 no 1 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; France 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
11.
Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
12.
Lady, be Good: The man I love by George Gershwin
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
13.
Goldwyn Follies: Love walked in by George Gershwin
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USA 
Notes: Arranged: Percy Grainger 
14.
Tribute to Foster: Lullaby by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1931 
15.
Irish Dances (4), Op. 89 by Charles Villiers Stanford
Performer:  Piers Lane (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; England 

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