Jane Austen Piano Favourites

Jane Austen Piano Favourites

by Martin Souter
     
 
This British release, plainly intended to exploit the gift market among Jane Austen enthusiasts, relies conceptually on the fact that Austen owned a piano, indeed a piano like one of the two heard on the album, apparently played it daily, and possessed a collection of piano music, some of which is heard here. It's hard to determine whether this means, as the booklet

Overview

This British release, plainly intended to exploit the gift market among Jane Austen enthusiasts, relies conceptually on the fact that Austen owned a piano, indeed a piano like one of the two heard on the album, apparently played it daily, and possessed a collection of piano music, some of which is heard here. It's hard to determine whether this means, as the booklet note claims, that piano music "seems to have been very much at the heart of Jane Austen's life." Her novels don't have much to say about music, and the compilers resort to a letter from Jane to Caroline Austen as an epigraph. Moreover, the majority of the music on the album doesn't qualify under the promised "Jane Austen piano favourites" category. The association with Muzio Clementi is purely chronological and pretty debatable. The common feature of the genuine Austen collection pieces here is that they're very simple technically, which isn't true of Clementi. The evidence for a connection between Austen and Haydn is hardly stronger, relying apparently on her appreciation for the poetry of Anne Hunter, whose works Haydn set to music. All this said, the album actually works pretty well for those who want a collection of period music for an Austen-themed soirée, and it may even be of some interest for those more specifically attracted to English music of the period. There are two attractions. First is the use of a period piano by William Stodart of a sort known to have been owned by Austen, but not often heard on historical piano recordings. It has a uniquely clear sound in the simple sonatinas by Pleyel and the "Keyboard Sonata in A major, Op. 3/1," by Ernst Eichner. This, too, is intriguing. Eichner died in 1777, so they were several decades old by the time Austen acquired them. The entire set of pieces represents an interesting cross section of music available in England during Austen's lifetime, and the Clementi sonatas are vigorously played by keyboardist Martin Souter. There are other albums of this type on the market, but this one merits consideration.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2011
Label:
Gift Of Music (Naxos
UPC:
0658592123425
catalogNumber:
1234
Rank:
184079

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Sonatina for piano in G major, Op. 36/5  - Muzio Clementi  - Martin Souter
  2. Sonatina for piano in C major, Op. 36/3  - Muzio Clementi  - Martin Souter
  3. Keyboard Sonata in C major, H. 16/1 (probably spurious)  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Martin Souter
  4. Keyboard Sonata in D major, H. 16/4  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Martin Souter
  5. La Buona Figliuola Maritata, opera: Overture  - Niccolò Piccinni  - Martin Souter
  6. Sonatina for piano in G major, Op. 36/2  - Muzio Clementi  - Martin Souter

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