Ronald Stevenson Piano Music

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Catalogue No: DDA 21372
EAN/UPC: 809730137228
Artists:
Composers:
Release Date: February 2013
Genres: ,
Periods:
Discs: 3
Total Playing Time: 217:00
Sample: Melody on a Ground of Glazunov (extract)

Ronald Stevenson is one of the most original minds in the world of the composition of music. – So said Yehudi Menuhin. This magnum opus set is a magnificent culmination of several years of planning and a great acheivement by Murray McLachlan. Stevenson’s most remarkable work, Le Festin d’Alkan, is given a superb performance as are his incredibly varied transcriptions and fantasies on Bach, Ysaÿe and Chopin (and others) and a number of his other original works.

Stevenson’s other tour-de-force, the 80-minute Passacaglia on DSCH, is played by Murray McLachlan on DDA25013.

Track Listing

    Ronald Stevenson:

  1. Komm, susser Tod, after Bach BWV478 (4:00)
  2. Prelude and Chorale (An Easter Offering) (3:47)
  3. I. L’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 1 − I. Eleanore (3:18)
  4. II. L’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 1 − II. So we’ll go no more a-roving (4:36)
  5. III. L’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 1 − III. Plus blanche que la plus blanche hermine (5:37)
  6. IV. L’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 1 − In the silent night (3:14)
  7. V. L’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 1 − V. Go not, happy day (1:55)
  8. I. l’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 2 − I. Fly home little heart (2:32)
  9. II. l’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 2 − II. We’ll gather lilacs (3:23)
  10. III. l’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 2 − III. Demande et reponse (1:13)
  11. IV. l’art nouveau du chant appliqué au piano, volume 2 − IV. Will you remember? (1:07)
  12. Scottish Ballad No. 1″Lord Randal” (3:09)
  13. Fugue on a Fragment from Chopin (6:57)
  14. I. Pensées sur des Prelude de Chopin − No. 1 Agitato (1:15)
  15. II. Pensées sur des Prelude de Chopin − No. 2 Lento funebre (1:49)
  16. III. Pensées sur des Prelude de Chopin − No. 3 Andantino alla mazurka (1:21)
  17. IV. Pensées sur des Prelude de Chopin − No. 4 Lento sostenuto (1:25)
  18. V. Pensées sur des Prelude de Chopin − No. 5 Allgro agitato, con urgenza (1:41)
  19. VI. Pensées sur des Prelude de Chopin − No. 6 Non agitato (2:01)
  20. Variations-Study on a Chopin Waltz (2:06)
  21. Etudiette d’apres Korsakov et Chopin (1:41)
  22. I. Three Contrapuntal Studies on Chpin Waltzes − No. 1 Waltz in A flat, Op. 34/1, for right hand alone (3:58)
  23. II. Three Contrapuntal Studies on Chpin Waltzes − No. 2 Waltz in A flat, Op. 42, for left hand alone (5:34)
  24. III. Three Contrapuntal Studies on Chpin Waltzes − No. 3 Double waltz – Nos 1 and 2 together (3:36)
  25. I. Le festin d’Alkan: Concerto for piano solo − I. Free composition (6:36)
  26. II. Le festin d’Alkan: Concerto for piano solo − II. Free transcription (10:21)
  27. III. Le festin d’Alkan: Concerto for piano solo − III. Free multiple variations (10:15)
  28. I. Sonata No. 1 in G minor, after Ysaye − I. Preludio: Grave, lento assai (4:50)
  29. II. Sonata No. 1 in G minor, after Ysaye − II. Fugato: molto moderato (4:46)
  30. III. Sonata No. 1 in G minor, after Ysaye − III. Allegretto poco scherzoso (4:15)
  31. IV. Sonata No. 1 in G minor, after Ysaye − IV. Finale con brio: allegro (2:52)
  32. I. Sonata No. 2, after Ysaye − I. Obsession: Prelude poco vivace (3:09)
  33. II. Sonata No. 2, after Ysaye − II. Malinconia: Poco lento (2:36)
  34. III. Sonata No. 2, after Ysaye − III. Danse des ombres: Sarabande, lento (5:24)
  35. IV. Sonata No. 2, after Ysaye − IV. Les furies: Allegro furioso (3:08)
  36. Norse Elegy (7:59)
  37. Canonic Caprice on ‘The Bat’ (4:22)
  38. Fantasy for Mechancial Organ, after Mozart K. 608 (14:13)
  39. Romanze from Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D minor, K.466 (9:22)
  40. Melody on a Ground of Glazunov (2:19)
  41. Ricordanza di San Romerio (4:36)
  42. I. Three Grounds after Purcell − No. 1 Andante quasi fado (3:42)
  43. II. Three Grounds after Purcell − No. 2 Andante arioso (3:21)
  44. III. Three Grounds after Purcell − No. 3 Allegretto (2:16)
  45. Toccata, after Purcell (7:26)
  46. Little Jazz Variations on Purcell’s ‘New Scotch Tune’ (5:10)
  47. Hornpipe (after Purcell) (3:14)
  48. The Queen’s Dolour (after Purcell) (4:07)
  49. I. Two Music Portraits − No. 1 Valse Charlot (0:47)
  50. II. Two Music Portraits − No. 2 Valse Garbo (1:24)
  51. I. Three Elizabethan Pieces after John Bull − No. 1 Pavan (5:58)
  52. II. Three Elizabethan Pieces after John Bull − No. 2 Galliard (3:11)
  53. III. Three Elizabethan Pieces after John Bull − No. 3 Jig (The King’s Hunt) (3:55)

Reviews

MusicWeb

Murray McLachlan’s playing throughout these discs is as masterly as one would expect and he is superbly recorded. The pianists also contributes extensive booklet notes which explore every facet of the music. A superlative collection of some superlative arrangements and realisations by one of the great masters of the keyboard. A big thank you to everyone concerned with this marvellous release.

” —Paul Corfield Godfrey
Tempo

The obscurity which envelopes [Stevenson’s] art is a cause for enormous regret. I guarantee that as you work your way through these recordings, you will shake your head in dumbfounded disbelief that music of such remarkable quality should have gone unheard for so long. Murray McLachlan deserves enormous praise for these recordings. Some of these pieces erect some formidable barriers .. but McLachlan negotiates their difficulties with chamois surefootedness. One’s predominant emotion is gratitude to the musician, recording company and composer who made [the set] possible. Its importance can hardly be overstated.

” —Martin Anderson
International Piano

What a collection of treasures… McLachlan proves the ideal guide through this unendingly fascinating array of works. McLachlan’s technique is equal to the most challenging of the composer’s virtuosic demands, his musical sensibilities attuned to shaping the torrents of notes into real works of art and his lightness of touch able to draw out the subtle tones and colours that are the lifeblood of the music. The recording is very clear, no mean achievement given the music’s wide dynamic and textural range. Very strongly recommended.

” —Guy Rickards
Fanfare

For me the outright best release of the past year [2013], bar none … That a composer of this stature should have to wait so long for record­ings of his music (and he’s still waiting for the vast bulk of his huge output to get anywhere near the microphones) is shameful; this set will let you hear why.

” —Martin Anderson
Lafolia.Com

works ranging from the virtuosic to vignettes a student could master. McLachlan makes the nearly impossible Chopin elaborations sound easy.

” —Grant Chu Covell
American Record Guide

This program is much better than anything I’ve heard from [McLachlan]. There’s a lot of slow- to mid-tempo music that requires cantabile playing, and he doesn’t disappoint me. The arrangements are more than mere transcriptions, of course, and are enjoyable and sometimes stunning… There are some very diffi­cult figurations for the pianist, and he handles them with what sounds like enviable ease.

” —Stephen Estep
Klassik.Com

Stevenson’s admiration for the pianist-composers of the past is reflected in his own work, which meanders almost seamlessly between original compositions and adaptation of music by others … but if one follows the music, one soon notices the originality of the music, in the truest sense of the word. Murray McLachlan leaves virtually nothing to wish for in this complex material. His virtuous capabilities are without question as well as, most importantly, his understanding of Stevenson’s idiom. The recording technique allows Stevenson’s music to breathe and accentuates the interpretations in a best possible way.

” —Jürgen Schaarwächter
The Guardian

Stevenson has composed almost 500 pieces for solo piano, many of which are fiendishly difficult to play. Even three well-filled discs can hardly scratch the surface of such a vast amount of piano music. It’s never, ever dull, and its sheer imagination and energy are irrepressible. So too are McLachlan’s performances; the dedication of his playing is without doubt immensely impressive.

” —Andrew Clements
The Classical Reviewer

An excellent view of Stevenson’s art, showing the vast scope of his piano transcriptions, variations and arrangements. Murray McLachlan fully does justice … in playing that is impeccably accomplished … a tremendous advocate for these pieces. The recordings are clear and detailed. This new release should appeal to all lovers of fine piano music and indeed, music lovers in general.

” —Bruce Reader
MusicWeb International

I was telling a friend about the arrival of Ronald Stevenson’s piano music CDs on my doorstep. What surprised him most was that for once in my life I was lost for words. I was overwhelmed by the sheer width and depth of the repertoire. Ronald Stevenson is one of the most important living composers. I was extremely impressed by Murray McLachlan’s playing on these three superb discs. This complex, usually technically difficult – if not nearly impossible, at times – music demands a huge technique and considerable confidence to play and interpret successfully. The liner-notes by Murray McLachlan are excellent, comprehensive and interesting. [This set] will long remain as a monument to the achievement of Ronald Stevenson.

” —John France
International Record Review

What a collection of treasures… McLachlan proves the ideal guide through this unendingly fascinating array of works. McLachlan’s technique is equal to the most challenging of the composer’s virtuosic demands, his musical sensibilities attuned to shaping the torrents of notes into real works of art and his lightness of touch able to draw out the subtle tones and colours that are the lifeblood of the music. The recording is very clear, no mean achievement given the music’s wide dynamic and textural range. Very strongly recommended.

” —Calum MacDonald
Edward Greenfield

Three well-filled CDs. McLachlan proves an impressive advocate, coping well with all the virtuoso demands … an important, groundbreaking issue celebrating the work of a composer too long neglected.

” —GRAMOPHONE
Musical Pointers

One of the very most important and entertaining piano recordings of the year … mind-boggling originality and daring. [played by his] equal as a piano wizard Murray McLachlan… the collection as a whole will give lasting satisfaction.

” —Peter Grahame Woolf
Fanfare

This is a very noteworthy release, and I am going to go out on a limb and predict that it will end up on many ‘Best of’ lists. McLachlan’s performances on these discs are conscientiousness and intelligence personified. McLachlan’s Stevenson buffet has enough delights to make it well worth your while.

” —Raymond Tuttle