Kenneth Hamilton Plays Ronald Stevenson, Vol. 2

Kenneth Hamilton Plays Ronald Stevenson, Vol. 2

by Kenneth Hamilton

CD

Overview

Pianist Kenneth Hamilton has championed the music of his teacher, composer Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015), and his first release of Stevenson's music (Kenneth Hamilton Plays Ronald Stevenson, Vol. 1) gained widespread attention in Germany and North America as well as in Britain. Stevenson's music uses stylistic elements from the past, and his music fell into disfavor with the modernist claque. In Hamilton's hands, however, it's clear that there's not a bit of nostalgia or neo-Romanticism in Stevenson's music. Yes, he refers to composers of the past, from Purcell to Shostakovich, but that range itself should show you that Stevenson has not simply found a comfortable niche and inhabited it. He's been called the Liszt of Scotland, but Busoni, or even Bartók, would be a closer comparison. The latter name is relevant to the program here, which involves various uses of Scottish folk music. Sample the fascinating little "Barra Flyting Toccata" (a "flyting" is a rhyming competition, in this case, one held in Barra), where the rhythm constantly shifts. There are also jazz variations on Purcell, a "Threepenny Sonatina" that is unlike any other composer's use of popular music, a Shostakovich paraphrase, a Busonian chorale fantasy, Stravinskian treatments of Purcell, and more, ranging from fully tonal to considerably dissonant. By the time it's done, you will find yourself wondering just how much more music there is to write in older styles; Stevenson seems to open up a vast new range of possibilities. His student's performances may be taken as definitive for now.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/11/2019
Label: Prima Facie
UPC: 0712396065487
catalogNumber: 107

Tracks

  1. The Queen's Dolour (A farewell), for piano (after Purcell)
  2. Toccata for piano (after Purcell)
  3. Grounds (3), for piano (after Purcell)
  4. Hornpipe for piano (after Purcell)
  5. Komm, süsser Tod, for piano (after Bach's BWV 478)
  6. Recitative and Air (DSCH), for piano
  7. Threepenny Sonatina, for piano (after Weill's "The Threepenny Opera")
  8. Little Jazz Variations on Purcell's New Scotch Tune, for piano
  9. Hebridean Seascape, for piano (transcription of the 2nd movement of Frank Merrick's Piano Concerto No. 2)
  10. Barra Flyting Toccata, for piano
  11. The High Road to Linton, toccata-reel for piano
  12. A Scottish Triptych, for piano: Chorale Pibroch for Sorley MacLean
  13. Norse Elegy for Ella Nygaard, for piano
  14. A Scottish Triptych, for piano: I. Keening Sang for a Makar

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