Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Natural Connection: Piano Music Inspired by the Natural World


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0680
Release Date: 2024-01-19
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871068025
Composers: , , , , , , ,
Period: ,
Liner Notes

SOMM RECORDINGS is delighted to announce the release of Natural Connection, a captivatingly lyrical new recording by pianist Leon McCawley featuring music for solo piano inspired by the natural world.

The effect of the ever-changing seasons has been a perpetual inspiration for composers since Ancient Greece’s Delphic hymns and before, down to the present day, arguably finding its richest expression, as Robert Matthew-Walker’s erudite booklet notes argue, in the generations who alternatively espoused Romanticism and Impressionism.

Nine composers, each with their own individual but complementary responses, are featured in a 21-track recital of miniature gems traversing the inexorable turn of the year’s cycle from Christian Sinding’s tremulous signature, Rustle of Spring, to Grieg’s sublimely tentative To the Spring.

In between, popular pieces by Debussy (Clair de Lune) and Saint-Saëns (The Swan) vie with assorted works by Tchaikovsky (selections from The Seasons), Ravel (the liquescent Jeux d’eau), Bartók (the delightful From the Diary of a Fly and atmospheric The Night’s Music), and Rachmaninov (the gentle Lilacs and poetic Daisies).

The most expressive pianist-composer of his age, Liszt, contributes three pieces including the sighing ebb-and-flow of Au lac de Wallenstadt and stormy Orage, to eloquently link this multi-faceted and evocative, often moving, collection of responses to the living world.

Leon McCawley’s previous SOMM releases include four widely acclaimed volumes of Haydn Sonatas, the first (SOMMCD 0162) receiving a coveted Diapason d’Or from Diapason magazine, Gramophone hailing him for Volume III (SOMMCD 0624) as “a thoughtful, keenly intelligent artist in peak form”.

MusicWeb International declared his Chopin recital (SOMMCD 0103) “exemplary” and “outstanding”, while his Schubert survey (SOMMCD 0188) was described by Classical Music Daily as “a meaningful, eloquent performance [that] offers many memorable moments”.

On This Recording

  1. Christian Sinding: Rustle of Spring, Op. 32 No. 3 (2:56)
  2. Franz Liszt: Au lac de Wallenstadt (Années de pèlerinage) (3:31)
  3. Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Song of the Lark (The Seasons, Op. 37a) (2:23)
  4. Béla Bartók: From the Diary of a Fly (Mikrokosmos) (1:29)
  5. Claude Debussy: Jardins sous la Pluie (Estampes) (3:46)
  6. Liszt: Au bord d’une source (Années de pèlerinage) (4:06)
  7. Liszt: Orage (Années de pèlerinage) (4:31)
  8. Bartók: The Night’s Music (Out of Doors) (5:18)
  9. Debussy: Clair de Lune (Suite Bergamasque) (5:06)
  10. Camille Saint-Saëns: The Swan, arr. Godowsky (2:34)
  11. Edvard Grieg: Butterfly (Lyric Pieces, Op. 43) (2:00)
  12. Grieg: Little Bird (Lyric Pieces, Op. 43) (1:40)
  13. Maurice Ravel: Oiseaux Tristes (Miroirs) (4:25)
  14. Liszt: Les jeux d’eau à la villa d’Este (Années de pèlerinage) (7:28)
  15. Ravel: Jeux d’eau (5:43)
  16. Sergei Rachmaninov: Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5 (2:22)
  17. Rachmaninov: Daises, Op. 38 No. 3 (2:17)
  18. Tchaikovsky: Autumn Song (The Seasons, Op. 37a) (4:32)
  19. Debussy: The Snow is Dancing (Children’s Corner) (2:41)
  20. Debussy: L’isle joyeuse (5:58)
  21. Grieg: To the Spring (Lyric Pieces, Op. 43) (3:04)
Leon McCawley, piano