Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


REVIEW

Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 



Availability: CD.TP

 

John PITTS (b.1976)
Changes (1995) [3:04]
Toccata [9:41]
Seven Airs and Fantasias (1992-2007) [65:01]
Steven Kings (piano and prepared piano)
John Pitts (piano) (Changes)
rec. Auditorium, Victoria Rooms, University of Bristol, August 2008 
CD.TP/IPM08 [77:49]
Experience Classicsonline


Dunelm Records released an Air and two Fantasies by John Pitts on DRD0238. Now here we have the full set of fourteen on this disc, with two extras, Changes and the Toccata, in authoritative and tremendously agile performances by Steven Kings.

Pitts studied at Bristol and Manchester and in 2003 won the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship Fund Composition Prize. He composes for a wide range of forces, chamber, solo piano, choral included.

So much for a potted biography, what about the music?  Seven Airs and Fantasias was composed between 1992 and 2007. They can played in individually, in pairs or as a full set. Melodic and engaging these are delightful pieces. The first air is fulsomely melodic whilst its fantasia has a tick-tocking warmth that moves off into mellower more swinging lyricism. The second Air is Satie-drenched whilst the second Fantasie uses a prepared piano – it’s a kind of chime study with Chinoiserie elements. The third air sounds like reharmonised Chopin, affectionately sad with vestigial Rachmaninovian chording maybe. There are Francophile tints in Air 4 and minimalist dynamism animates the increasingly exciting Air 5 with its strong left hand ‘pillars’ and vaguely French deftness. Whereas there’s quite a sturdy English buoyancy to Air 5; Fantasie 5 meanwhile relates to the first, second and fourth fantasies in its exploration of tintinabulism. The sixth Fantasie is explicitly minimalist whilst the seventh air offers Pitts’s ‘twisted’ harmonies – which sounds a bit Morton Feldman-like but you should consult his website for further information on that point. The last Fantasie offers an almost obsessive chordal concentration. It ends a cycle of verve, imagination, as well as colouristic and rhythmic vivacity – and shows Pitts as honouring a wide lineage whilst absorbing it into his own schema very successfully.

Changes (for twenty nifty fingers) is a fiendishly minimalistic workout for Kings and the composer, who adds his own ten digits to the pottage. It’s three minutes of pile driving energy and brilliantly exciting. The Toccata (Blue Frenzy) is longer and more malleable. It’s strong and tensile but from around the four minute mark becomes more deliberate. Outbursts though are vivid and as for its ethos, let’s just say that if Nancarrow’s player piano mated with Leo Ornstein, and Albert Ammons’s boogie-woogie piano was on an overdose of uppers it might sound a bit like this. Galvanizing stuff!

I’ve also checked out the extra (review) download as well, Are You Going? for thirty nifty fingers which is based on Scarborough Fair. It’s a toccata boogie of unstoppable, unquenchable  verve and you will find it on the composer’s website.

Exciting stuff all round – vital, energising, but sensitive when need be. Toes – prepare to tap.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by John France  


 


 




 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.