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PATRICK PIGGOTT:

EIGHT PRELUDES AND A POSTLUDE (SOLO PIANO)

Roberton Publications No.5577 31pp. £6.00 Goodmusic, PO Box 100, Tewkesbury GL20 7YQ Phone: 01684 - 773883 www.goodmusicpublishing.co.uk

 



 

"In the course of writing [the Second Piano Sonata] I've composed some more Preludes: sparks thrown off as the anvil was struck." (Patrick Piggott, letter dated 16.4.1980) These were the initial 'sparks' of the third set of eight Preludes - now available in print for the first time - which eventually completed a statutory twenty-four, to which Piggott added an elegiac Postlude.

All of Piggott's twenty-five Preludes are essentially virtuosic studies in pianoforte technique, the fifth and sixth of this set being extremely difficult. But they are more than that might suggest: with the exception of the fifth, which owes much to Bartok with its motoric Bulgarian rhythms - and possibly the sixth, which moves lightly at a dizzying pace - each of the others has at its centre a brief melodic fragment around which the music is tightly organised. There are, in the second and seventh preludes in particular, moments of poignant beauty: intensity packed into a small place. While Piggott shares with Lennox Berkeley something of the influence of their mutual teacher Nadia Boulanger, his music is completely individual - and quite unjustly neglected. There are links, in this final set of Preludes, with the preceding two; and the Postlude has a cortège-like character, marked at one point come una reminiscenza, in which earlier conflicts are partly resolved. This is powerful and inventive music. The two earlier sets of Preludes must surely follow ere long? Colin Scott-Sutherland

Note: The Eight Preludes and a Postlude are included in a CD recording of Patrick Piggott's piano music played by Malcolm Binns and released by the British Music Society: BMS430CD. [details}An article by Colin Scott-Sutherland on Patrick Piggott's music appears in the British Music Society’s annual journal British Music Vol.23 (2001).

 

 


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