BBC Music Magazine
Pianist Clare Hammond shares three recordings from her own collection
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.
Piano Sonatas Simon Smith (piano)
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