For her fifth release on BIS Records, Clare Hammond has constructed an adventurous programme of twentieth and twenty-first-century variations for piano. From the imposing Chaconne by Sofia Gubaidulina, to the tender grief of Paul Hindemith’s variations or Aaron Copland’s bold and uncompromising proclamation, the album presents a fresh perspective on the genre. Hammond opens with Karol Szymanowski’s Variations on a Polish Theme from 1904, a virtuosic and intensely Romantic outpouring that contrasts strikingly with the wit and irreverence of Helmut Lachenmann’s set on a theme by Schubert. The most recent works in the programme are Harrison Birtwistle’s mercurial elegy and its polar opposite I Still Play, a lyrical waltz composed in 2017 by John Adams.

The disc is now available from BIS Records, eClassical, Presto Classical, Amazon and digital platforms, while physical discs will be released in the UK on the 5 March 2021.

▸ Read international press reviews as they are published here, catch radio features on BBC Radio 3's In Tune (from 15'29), Record Review (from 2'05'40) and RTS Espace 2, and listen to the Thoroughly Good podcast with Jon Jacob. 'Variations' has been selected as one of Apple Music's 10 Classical Albums you must hear this month.

▸ Download information on an accompanying series of school and prison recitals here.

▸ Download the press release as a .docx or a .pdf file.



Album Cover
Design © Sveta Yavorsky
Clare Hammond
© Julie Kim
Clare Hammond
© Julie Kim


This disc was only possible thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England, The John S Cohen Foundation, Fidelio Charitable Trust, Golsoncott Foundation, Stradivari Trust, Penny Wright and Andrew Neubauer.