For her fifth release with 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 available from BIS Records, eClassical, Presto Classical, Amazon and on digital platforms. 'Variations' was selected as one of Apple Music's 10 Classical Albums you must hear in March 2021.

▸ Read international press reviews here and listen to features on RTS Espace 2 and the Thoroughly Good podcast with Jon Jacob.

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



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, Scops Arts Trust, Stradivari Trust, Penny Wright and Andrew Neubauer.