Stevenson Passacaglia

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Catalogue No: DDA 25013
EAN/UPC: 809730501326
Artists:
Composers:
Release Date: April 2003
Genres: ,
Periods:
Discs: 1

This is a very important release for lovers of 20th century music, featuring one of the most fascinating and important piano works of the 20th century. Passacaglia is, first, one of the longest continuous solo keyboard pieces ever written. It has collected almost a cult following. It is also a piece of wide variety, collecting in influences from the music of many places, but based strongly and closely throughout on the initials DSCH (for Dmitri Schostakovich). We were pleased to dedicate this disc to the composer in celebration of his 75th birthday.

Pianist Murray McLachlan is one of Britain’s leading exponents of modern music. He has recorded 2 previous CDs for Divine Art and also for Dunelm and Olympia.

See his 3-CD set of Stevenson’s music (given the IRR ‘outstanding’ award’) on DDA 21372.

Track Listing

    Ronald Stevenson:

  1. I. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 1. Sonata Allegro (6:46)
  2. II. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 2. Waltz in rondo-form (2:27)
  3. III. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 3. Episode 1: presto (1:01)
  4. IV. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 4. Suite: Prelude (2:37)
  5. V. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 5. Suite: Sarabande (1:08)
  6. VI. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 6. Suite: Jig (0:15)
  7. VII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 7. Suite: Sarabande II (0:18)
  8. VIII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 8. Suite: Minuet (2:34)
  9. IX. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 9. Suite: Jig II (0:15)
  10. X. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 10. Suite: Gavotte (1:36)
  11. XI. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 11. Suite: Polonaise (1:46)
  12. XII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 12. Pibroch (2:09)
  13. XIII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 13. Episode 2: Arabesque Variations (2:35)
  14. XIV. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 14. Nocturne (2:07)
  15. XV. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 15. Reverie-Fantasy (1:59)
  16. XVI. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 16. Fanfare (0:16)
  17. XVII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 17. Forebodings: Alarm (0:15)
  18. XVIII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 18. Glimpse of a war vision (0:35)
  19. XIX. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 19. Peace (0:31)
  20. X. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 20. Variations on “Peace, Bread and the Land” (2:06)
  21. XXI. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 21. Symphonic March (1:58)
  22. XXII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 22. Episode 3: Volante Scherzoso (0:57)
  23. XXIII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 23. Fandango (2:05)
  24. XXIV. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 24. Pedal Point: To emergent Africa (1:45)
  25. XXV. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 25. Central Episode: Etudes (5:07)
  26. XXVI. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 26 Variations in C minor (2:42)
  27. XXVII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 27. Adagio: Tribute to Bach (1:15)
  28. XXVIII. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 28. Triple Fugue over ground bass: andamento (5:04)
  29. XXIX. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 29. Triple Fugue over ground bass: BACH (6:08)
  30. XXX. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 30. Triple Fugueover ground bass: Dies Irae (5:15)
  31. XXXI. Passacaglia on D.S.C.H,op. 70 − 31. Final Variations (10:00)

Reviews

Penguin Guide To Compact Discs

something of a tour de force… Murray McLachlan is an impressive exponent of this score and he is very well recorded – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Musical Opinion

[Stevenson displays]… a revelatory understanding of the keyboard… both an astonishing compositional achievement and a deeply impressive emotional experience. The CD is a considerable achievement in musical and sound-recording terms: a wonderful 75th birthday present for the composer. Strongly recommended.

” —Robert Matthew-Walker
American Record Guide

Murray McLachlan… turns in a noble, committed, sometimes harrowing performance

” —Sullivan
International Piano

The performance is thrilling. His approach to the work somehow manages to combine an improvisatory freshness and a sense of the inevitability of the form. McLachlan … plays it here as if mastering its praeternatural difficulties were as natural as running your fingers through your hair. Strongly recommended

” —Martin Anderson
BBC Music Magazine

Murray McLachlan’s… terrific at sustaining cumulative momentum and keeping textures fresh and diversified during the work’s lengthy opening and closing sections. … there’s much to admire in McLachlan’s colouristic instincts and seasoned musicality

” —Jed Distler
Fuga (Journal Of The Ronald Stevenson Society)

Stevenson’s masterpiece… without question a major addition to the quite superb pianism, allied to a structural command that knows no peers. The Passacaglia is an out-and-out masterpiece, which will be played long after much music of the last 50 years is justifiably forgotten

” —Robert Matthew-Walker
DSCH Journal

Murray McLachlan projects the work’s opening Sonata with a dark energy; … the start of a journey with real sweep and grandeur. McLachlan is stunning in the Fugue… he visits worlds of fantasy and virtuosity his two competitors do not often approach. In McLachlan’s hands, we’re always made to appreciate the Passacaglia as a meaningful, pertinent piece of contemporary music. Pianistically the final fugue section is absolutely stupendous. His performance is filled with excitement, feeling and belief, and superbly executed

” —Paul Ingram
MusicWeb

Here is a committed performance… It could be argued that no pianist has grown up with this work in closer proximity than McLachlan… an exciting pianist. The work is… a living organism… an experience

” —Colin Scott-Sutherland