MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



Buy through MusicWeb
for £12.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


John PITTS (b. 1976)
Changes for 20 nifty fingers [3:04]
Toccata - Blue Frenzy [9:41]
Air 1 - Gentle Interweaving [3:34]
Fantasia 1 - Clockwork 5/4 [3:23]
Air 2 - After Satie [3:06]
Fantasia 2 - On the Westminster Chimes (for prepared piano) [4:11]
Air 3 - On an anagram [4:17]
Fantasia 3 - Parallel Octaves [5:18]
Air 4 - Sarabande [3:49]
Fantasia 4 - Wind Chimes [8:18]
Air 5 - Calmly Contented [3:57]
Fantasia 5 - Bells in 9/8 [3:38]
Air 6 - Modal Twist [4:11]
Fantasia 6 - Half-Second-Hand [5:33]
Air 7 - Cantabile Mist [5:56]
Fantasia 7 - All in a chord [5:54]
Steven Kings (piano); John Pitts (piano: Changes)
rec. Aug. 2008, Auditorium, Victoria Rooms, Bristol
CD.TP IPM08 [77:49]

Experience Classicsonline

I was a little nervous about the words "intensely pleasant music" which were repeated several times over the disc case and the booklet. It smelled of Richard Clayderman. However, don't worry: it is not intensely pleasant music, it is just good. What a relief.
The opening piece must be a counting nightmare for the two pianists: they are supposed to play overlapping bars of 14 vs. 15 quavers. But what a splendid result! It's as if Prokofiev's Toccata was rewritten by Steve Reich: rolling at you like a rollercoaster. Probably, this rolling effect is created by the unequal bar partitions - a perpetuum instabile, like Brahms' 2-to-3. It was hard to stop listening to it in "Repeat" mode and move on to the second piece.
Blue Frenzy is another toccata. This time it's not just a one-trick thing like the first one, but a multifaceted construction. The composer expertly works with motivic cells. Ten minutes pass as one: episodes are well measured, with times to ride and times to rest. Relentless ever-changing rhythm and jazzy harmonies propel the music forward.
Finally, there is the set of seven pairs of Airs & Fantasias. Brahms would probably call them Intermezzos and Capriccios, although in character they are closer to Debussy's Préludes (or, as is the case with Air 3, to Chopin's). As the insert notes put it, "The airs are essentially melody-dominated, and the fantasias are pieces in free form with a minimalistic use of repeated and rotating patterns". The Fantasias often explore the clock-bell-chime soundworld (just look at their titles), but this is well separated by more "horizontal" Airs. There are many pleasant discoveries - melodic, rhythmic, sonic - but almost no standard or predictable moves or clichés - at least, for me. The listener doesn't have to work hard to get into the music: a kind of minimalistic "submerge and relax" attitude will definitely do the trick. This is a colorful and interesting set by a talented composer. And if harmony is your thing, you'll find much to admire here.
The playing of Steven Kings is technically and emotionally perfect. It is dry enough to convey the youthful, fresh character of the music, yet not too dry, and so the music preserves all the lyricism and the crispiness. One minor thing, though: some moments seemed over-pedalled. The recording, mastered by Jonathan Scott, is very spacious. No: it's four-dimensional. You can almost see the notes materializing in the air. All in all, this is a rewarding disc. Well... intensely pleasant. But in a good sense!
Oleg Ledeniov

see also review by John France 
and Jonathan Woolf




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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
Web Ring
Translation Service

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

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.