BBC Music Magazine

Buried Treasure


Pianist Clare Hammond shares three recordings from her own collection

Christophe­r Simpson

Ayres & Graces

Cheyls Consort of Viols BIS-2153 Christophe­r Simpson is not a well-known composer. His pieces are real gems, full of grace, emotion and pathos. It has a real sense of elegance, but beneath that there’s a great deal of pain. You can interpret it on many different levels; it can be comforting and serene, but if you listen to it in more detail it covers the whole gamut of human experience in a very particular way that I find appealing.

Valentin Silvestrov

Piano Sonatas Simon Smith (piano)

Delphian DCD34151

The quality, breadth and range of things Silvestrov has written for the piano is astonishin­g. The pieces here deal with themes of memory, loss and reconcilia­tion. He also uses quite interestin­g sound effects. I often spend quite a lot of time trying to create a full sound, but in the first sonata he indicates you should do precisely the opposite and really explore some of the percussive and otherworld­ly elements of the instrument.

Albéniz, Turina, Montsalvat­ge et al

Concertos from Spain

Alicia de Larrocha (piano) et al Eloquence 476 2971

When I was a teenager I went on a solo trip to Córdoba in Spain; it was a seminal experience for me. When I got home I recaptured the thrill of the trip by listening to a lot of Spanish music. These concertos are all quite similar in style; there’s the very characteri­stic rhythms and a kind of fanfare opening to each one. They have this feeling of freedom and vigour that comes with Spanish dance, and strong elements of folk and flamenco. It’s just a completely different, flamboyant approach to music-making.

Clare Hammond’s album of works by Mysliveˇce­k is out now on BIS Records and reviewed on p97

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