An Evening Hymn: English Keyboard Music of the 16th & 17th Centuries | Melodiya MELCD1002533

An Evening Hymn: English Keyboard Music of the 16th & 17th Centuries


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Label: Melodiya

Cat No: MELCD1002533

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 31st August 2018



Melodiya presents An Evening Hymn, an album of clavier music by English composers of the 16th and 17th centuries recorded by Anton Batagov.

The name of this pianist and composer is associated with minimalism and new re-readings of classical works. This time Batagov turns to the style of early baroque, the English virginalist school (a virginal is the old English for harpsichord).

Although this music was intended for the harpsichord, Batagov plays it on a modern concert Steinway. He studied old treatises on this music, but following the rules he adds the spirit and practices of modern minimalism and rock music to his performance. In the days of old, a musician could approach musical scores with a high degree of discretion. Performance was co-creation. The same happens in today’s non-academic music. Batagov links these two worlds.

He deliberately matches himself against 'authentists' – the 21st-century performers and listeners cannot perceive this music the way it was perceived by those who composed, performed and listened to it four of five centuries ago. 'Even the hands that play the piano are not the ones that played the old keyboard instruments', the musician says. 'There is jazz, rock, new age, minimalistic and avant-garde pianism in their physical experience'.

The musical space of Henry Purcell, John Dowland, William Byrd, John Bull and anonymous composers of the early 16th century, which may seem ascetic and reserved at first glance, reveals traits that so remarkably reconcile this music with modern times and, first and foremost, with minimalism in all of its capacities.

An Evening Hymn was recorded at CineLab SoundMix Studios in 2017.

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