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SlatterFan - Bennett The Lake: Message Board

SlatterFan's Comments

William Sterndate Bennett (1816 - 1875) was an English pianist, conductor and composer. He was a highly regarded virtuoso and his compositions were warmly praised by Mendelssohn and Schumann, among others. He was offered the conductorship of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra in 1853, but declined the position to stay in England. He was the principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1866, and his pupils included Arthur Sullivan and Tobias Matthay.

Some of his piano works are definitely worth hearing again. They often show Mozart's influence via Potter, with some Beethoven or Mendelssohn but rarely a hint of Chopin or Schumann or any of the romantics, whose music he did not particularly care for.

Three Musical Sketches, Op 10: No.1, The Lake, which I play in this recording, has mostly calm waters; No.2, The Millstream, is turbulent and virtuosic; while No.3, The Fountain, features sparkling RH triplets throughout. They make a nice set for performance.

Of his more substantial works, I recommend his Fantasia in A, Op 16 and his Piano Concerto No. 4 in F minor, which can be heard together on a fine CD with Malcolm Binns on piano. Also his late Piano Sonata Op.46 (The Maid of Orleans).

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Name Date Comment
Rachfan 2010-08-24 23:11:22 Hi SlatterFan,

I was drawn to your performance of Bennett's piece, as he appears in my teaching heritage. As you mention, one of his students was Tobias Matthay (1858-1945), one of the great piano pedagogues. This is the first time I've heard "The Lake", a very lovely and pleasant character piece. Your performance was thoughtful and refined in every way. I enjoyed listening.

SlatterFan 2010-08-22 17:30:21 Thanks for the nice feedback. I look forward to obtaining a more controlled tone for this piece, but I'm happy that I dared to submit my somewhat bumpy lake!
heidiv 2010-08-22 12:56:16 Bennett is new to me. I'll be sure to look up the full set of Op. 10. Thanks for the introduction.
wr 2010-08-21 03:16:31 How nice to have Sterndale Bennett represented. It has been quite a while since I have heard any of his music, and I am happy to be reminded of it in such a pleasant way.
Sorcerer88 2010-08-20 20:11:46 Nice piece, very calm and relaxing. You can hear Bennett's inclination toward classical composers. As with most composers here, it's the first time i heard of him. I enjoyed your performance =)