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CHAN 9833
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CHAN 9833
Piano Works

Sibelius: Piano Works

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2000

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 1999


Kyoko Tabe



New Broadcasting House, Manchester


Ralph Couzens


Don Hartridge

Record Label



Total Time - 60:11
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Please Note: On Mp3 format an unavoidable click may be heard on segue track breaks, to avoid this issue please select lossless or better

Piano Works



Select Complete Single Disc for

Five Romantic Pieces, Op. 101

1 I Romance 3:26
2 II Chant du soir 2:07
3 III Scène lyrique 2:32
4 IV Humoresque 2:31
5 V Scène romantique 3:36

Five Pieces for Piano ('The Trees'), Op. 75

6 I When the Rowan Tree Flowers 2:00
7 II The Solitary Fir Tree 2:44
8 III The Aspen 2:21
9 IV The Birch Tree 1:41
10 V The Spruce 3:20

Five Pieces for Piano ('The Flowers'), Op. 85

11 I The Daisy 1:18
12 II The Carnation 2:12
13 III The Iris 3:36
14 IV The Snapdragon 1:52
15 V The Campanula 2:15

Cinq Esquisses, Op. 114

16 I Landscape 2:24
17 II Winter Scene 2:18
18 III Forest Lake 1:38
19 IV Song in the Forest 2:04
20 V Spring Vision 1:57

Five Characteristic Impressions, Op. 103

21 I The Village Church 3:35
22 II The Fiddler 2:17
23 III The Oarsman 2:15
24 IV The Storm 1:54
25 V In Mournful Mood 2:18
Kyoko Tabe performs an enthralling selection of Sibelius’s solo piano works.

Although there are other recordings of this repertoire available, Kyoko Tabe brings here own distinctive style and touch to this demanding repertoire.

Kyoko Tabe has previously released a very successful disc on Chandos, featuring msuci by her fellow countryman Takashi Yoshimatsu (CHAN 9652)

Capturing the attention of the classical press and public alike, Kyoko Tabe has enjoyed tremendous success in international piano competitions and in performances with many of the world’s leading orchestras. Praised by reviewers as one of the ‘new generation’ of international pianists, the excitement and lingering brilliance of her performances consistently thrills audiences throughout the world.

Nobody, least of all the composer himself, would argue that Sibelius’s piano music stands at (or indeed anywhere near) the centre of his creative output. His own instrument was not the piano but the violin, and as a rule he resorted to the keyboard only for apologetic pot-boilers. It should be remembered that virtually all of this music was conceived for the home-bound audience, and not for a concert-going audience. Sibelius discouraged international publication, in the hope of confining them to his native Finland.

The first of Sibelius’s numerous so-called ‘salon’ pieces, designed strictly for domestic consumption, find him at his least resourceful. Even at his most charming they reflect his abiding unease in writing for the keyboard.

The much later Five Pieces, Op. 75 (1914), as their popular nickname ‘The Tree Suite’ suggests, were designed as a set, each ‘portraying’ a different tree. (Sibelius often emphasised his feeling of closeness to nature.) Following the success of the ‘Tree Suite’, it was no surprise that Sibelius followed it up with a similar suite of Five Pieces, Op. 85 devoted to flowers. By this time he seems less ill at ease with the piano and is acquiring a style of writing consistent with his orchestral writing.

At the time of composing his Five Romantic Pieces, Op. 101 in 1923, Sibelius was in a dark frame of mind, lamenting the disproportionate amount of time it took the write these miniatures, but it was these that kept the flow of much-needed money regular. The music is not as negligible as the composer suggested and there are moments which are genuinely memorable and inspired.

The Five Characteristic Impressions, Op. 103 show him closer to an idiomatic piano style, and if his ‘grand style’ is a little forced, there is a vividness of imagery in these little vignettes which is clear from the very opening of No. 1, ‘The Village Church’.

The Cinq Esquisses, Op. 114 (1929) which marked Sibelius’s farewell to the piano had a troubled start, as they were turned down for publication by Carl Fischer and not published until 1973. Ironically it was these that showed that he was embarking on a new phase of keyboard composition, marked by a significantly greater appreciation of truly pianistic resources and a move towards a steadily more abstract conception of composition as a whole.

‘…Tabe is a superb find, a breath of fresh air that makes the piano sing.’
San Jose Mercury

‘Kyoko Tabe is a reliable guide. She plays beautifully and has been accorded excellent sound’.
American Record Guide

‘The UK premiere of Takashi Yoshmatsu’s ‘memo Flora’ piano concerto was given exquisite treatment by Kyoko Tabe… Ms Tabe played it crisply and with great tona; imagination… piano playing at its most vibrantly romantic…’
Manchester Evening News

A Davis

M Holt