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CHAN 10676
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CHAN 10676

Piano Works by 'The Mighty Handful'

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2011

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2011

Artists:

Philip Edward Fisher

piano

Venue:

Symphony Hall, Birmingham



Producer:

Jonathan Cooper



Engineer:

Jonathan Cooper


Cheryl Jessop

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Piano




Total Time - 85:36
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MODEST PETROVICH MUSSORGSKY

(1839-1881)
 

Pictures at an Exhibition

35:24  
  Original version  
1 Promenade. Allegro giusto, nel mondo russico; senza allegrezza, ma poco sostenuto 1:28
2 1 Gnomus. Sempre vivo - Poco meno mosso, pesante - Vivo - Poco meno mosso, pesante - 2:33
3 Promenade. Moderato commodo assai e con delicatezza - 0:48
4 2 Il vecchio castello. Andante molto cantabile e con dolore 5:07
5 Promenade. Moderato non tanto, pesamente - 0:27
6 3 Tuileries (Children Quarrelling after Play). Allegretto non troppo, capriccioso 1:01
7 4 Bydlo. Sempre moderato, pesante 2:47
8 Promenade. Tranquillo - 0:39
9 5 Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells. Scherzino - Trio - Da capo il Scherzino, senza Trio, e poi Coda - 1:09
10 6 Two Polish Jews, One Rich, the Other Poor. Andante. Grave energico - 2:32
11 Promenade. Allegro giusto, nel modo russico, poco sostenuto - 1:25
12 7 Limoges, the Market Place. Allegretto vivo, sempre scherzando - 1:28
13 8 Catacombae. Sepulcrum Romanum. Largo - 2:10
14 Con Mortuis in Lingua Mortua. Andante non troppo, con lamento 2:13
15 9 The Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba-Yaga). Allegro con brio, feroce - 3:46
16 10 The Great Gate of Kiev. Allegro alla breve. Maestoso. Con grandezza - 5:43
   
 

CESAR CUI

(1835-1918)
17 

Nocturne

6:06
  in F sharp minor - in fis-Moll - en fa dièse mineur  
  No. 3 from Quatre Morceaux, Op. 22  
  Andante non troppo - Allegretto scherzando un poco capriccioso - Tempo I  
 

ALEXANDER PORFIRYEVICH BORODIN

(1833-1887)
18 

Scherzo

3:18
  in A flat major - in As-Dur - en la bémol majeur  
  Allegro vivace - Meno mosso - Tempo I  
 

Petite Suite

20:29  
19 I Au Couvent. Andante religioso - [ ] - A tempo 4:19
20 II Intermezzo. Tempo di menuetto - Un poco meno mosso - Tempo I 3:22
21 III Mazurka I. Allegro - Meno mosso - Allegro - Meno mosso - A tempo 3:03
22 IV Mazurka II. Allegretto - Più animato ed appassionato - Come prima - 3:25
23 V Rêverie. Andante 1:37
24 VI Sérénade. Allegretto 2:10
25 VII Nocturne. Andantino - [ ] - A tempo 2:30
   
 

NIKOLAI ANDREYEVICH RIMSKY-KORSAKOV

(1844-1908)
26 

Scherzino

1:08
  in A major - in A-Dur - en la majeur  
  No. 3 from Four Pieces, Op. 11  
  Vivo e leggieramente - Appassionato  
27 

Romance

1:42
  in A flat major - in As-Dur - in la bémol majeur  
  No. 2 from Three Pieces, Op. 15  
  Andantino espressivo  
28 

Waltz

3:25
  in C sharp major - in Cis-Dur - en ut dièse majeur  
  No. 1 from Three Pieces, Op. 15  
  To Nadezhda Nikolayevna Rimskaya-Korsakova  
  Capriccioso e legato - Un poco agitato - Tempo I  
 

MILY ALEXEYEVICH BALAKIREV

(1836/37-1910)
29 

Islamey

8:53
  Oriental Fantasy  
  For Nikolay G. Rubinstein  
  Presto con fuoco - Moderato e tranquillo - Presto energico - Agitato ed accelerando al tempo primo -  
   
30 

Reverie

5:22
  in F major -- F-Dur -- en fa majeur  
   
 Philip Edward Fisher piano
  25 and 26 August 2010  


On his first solo recital disc for Chandos, Philip Edward Fisher performs piano works by members of the so-called ‘Mighty Handful’, a group of five Russian composers – César Cui, Alexander Borodin, Mily Balakirev, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov – who in the 1860s banded together in an attempt to create a truly national school of Russian music, free of the perceived stifling influences of Italian opera, German lieder, and other western European forms.

The Mighty Handful were all self-trained amateurs. Borodin combined composing with a career in chemistry; Rimsky-Korsakov was a naval officer; and Mussorgsky had been in the Guards, then in the civil service, before taking up music. They tried to incorporate in their music what they heard in village songs, in Cossack dances, in church chants, and the tolling of church bells; in short, the music of the Mighty Handful was brimming with sounds that echoed Russian life. From the more traditional, Chopin-esque Nocturne by Cui through to the technical innovations and strong Caucasus folk elements of Balakirev’s Islamey, the works here all show the composers’ strong connections with the past and the compositional innovations that would come to influence the likes of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, and help change the course of Russian music for years to come.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and The Juilliard School, the pianist Philip Edward Fisher is widely recognised as a unique performer of refined style and exceptional versatility. He has performed across Europe, Africa, and North America where he made his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2002, performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, and has also appeared at the Merkin Concert Hall and the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

At home he has given performances at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, and Royal Festival Hall in London, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. He has appeared as a soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, and worked with performers such as exclusive Chandos artist bassoonist Karen Geoghegan, the tenor Robert White, pianist Sara Buechner, and violinists Elmar Oliveira, Philippe Graffin, and Augustin Hadelich. In 2001, Philip Edward Fisher received the Julius Isserlis Award from The Royal Philharmonic Society in London.

 

"...If I were teaching a course in Russian music, this would be required listening..."

Harrington - American Record Guide - November/December 2011


“This is a fascinatingly programmed offering … Cui’s Nocturne is perfectly shaped, Tchaikovskian miniature, and Fisher captures its melancholy well (as he also does later with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Romance). There is charm aplenty here: the Borodin Scherzo … is delicious. Fisher’s enthusiasm is infectious, and his finger work and sense of rhythm seem complete… His staccato illuminates Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scherzino, while nostalgia shines through the Waltz. Balakirev’s thrilling ride Islamey is given a polished reading…”

Colin Clarke – International Piano – July/August 2011
 


“Classical CD of the week”

Geoffrey Norris – The Telegraph – 11 June 2011


Performance ****    Recording ****

“…This music may be light, but it stands up to repeated listening.”

John Allison – BBC Music Magazine – July 2011


"It was a good idea to grou the piano works of five composers who played a vital role in the evolution of Russian music, for they offer variety aplenty..."

Andrew Clark -  Financial Times - 14 May 2011


****


Tim Ashley – The Guardian – 13 May 2011

 





*****
C Shuter

*****
H Kostense