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Holloway: Serenade In C, Fantasy-pieces, Schumann: Liederkreis / Brown, Spence, Nash Ensemble

Release Date: 07/14/1998 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 66930   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robin HollowayRobert Schumann
Performer:  Ian BrownToby Spence
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In a unique assemblage, British composer Robin Holloway opens his 'Fantasy-Pieces' with a tense "Praeludium" which seems to give birth (and key) to the much calmer first song in Schumann's 1840 cycle based on love poems by Heinrich Heine, which are the object of Holloway's musical tribute. Only after the evocative scene set in the ninth and last of the Schumann songs does Holloway return to his own creation, with a deconstruction and rearrangement of fragments from 'Liederkreis' numbers 1, 2, and 4.
It's a bit jarring, moving from the salon intimacy of interplay between Toby Spencer's heartfelt tenor vocalizations and Ian Brown's equally dramatic pianoforte in the Schumann to the multi-motif, rhythmically ragged fabric of Holloway's
Read more modernist take-off for piano and the 12 amazingly coordinated and strikingly intoned instruments of the Nash Ensemble. But a closer listen to the Holloway brings awareness that the pervasive spookiness, as well as certain melodic motifs and harmonies, have their source in the sometimes tortured romanticism of Schumann and Heine. Allusions to other earlier forms, including parlor songs, Weillish cabaret, and jazz, emerge respectfully but somewhat more humorously from Holloway's 'Serenade in C.' Read less

Works on This Recording

Serenade in C major, Op. 41 by Robin Holloway
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978-1979; England 
Fantasy-Pieces on Schumann's Heine Liederkreis, Op. 16 by Robin Holloway
Performer:  Ian Brown (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; England 
Liederkreis, Op. 24 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Ian Brown (Piano), Toby Spence (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 

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