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Emmanuel Chabrier Piano Music

Impromptu; Ronde champêtre; Dix pièces pittoresques; Aubade; Ballabile; Caprice; Feuillet d’album; Habanera; Bourrée fantasque


Hyperion CDA67515

Chabrier's delectable piano music fits neatly on a single CD. Angela Hewitt's conveys love for this unique composer, and is welcome soon after a magical performance of the composer's Suite Pastorale, orchestrated versions (regrettably four only) of the Dix pièces pittoresques.

Chabrier is one of relatively few composers whose identity shines out from a few bars; there is really no-one like him, and he has a loylal support club of enthusiasts, including Grahame Sheffield, who with Roy Howat, put on a memorable Chabrier festival in 1994.

Angela Hewitt charms and scintillates as required, and the recording ambience is just right for her favoured Fazioli. Full notes by J-P Sevilla give all the background, and remind us of Chabrier's wide artistic involvement; the Manet cover picture (now at the Courtauld Institute Gallery) was selected because Chabrier owned it alongside many by his friends Monet, Sisley Cézanne & Renoir. If you associate Hewitt only with Bach, do give this lovely CD a try.

There have been several successful recordings previously. Richard McMahon (pianissimo PP10792) gives short measure at 52 mins, probably n.l.a. More recently Kathryn Stott on Unicorn-Kanchana DKP 9158 (1995), now re-released on Regis RRC 1133. The repertoire is nearly the same. Stott included the Trois valses romantiques (arranged for two pianists by Cortot) as against Hewitt's coruscating account of the demandingly virtuosic Bourrée fantasque. Enjoy!



© Peter Grahame Woolf