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New prizewinning music


Artisjus   BR 0156

Record Box


<< Continued from page 1

The third prizewinner - Róbert Gulya's Piano Concerto stays on cultivated ground as the composer felt the challenge of tradition was in itself worth taking up. The resulting music maintains a neoclassic style without falling victim to its bleak landscape. But it still walks a slippery path, and familiar landscape features hove into view [listen - track 1, 00:00-00:55]. I deduce from the technical surety that Gulya is as capable of reaching forward as looking backwards.

The American second prizewinner, Peter Knell, who has been through Princeton and the Julliard, gives an immediate impression of a stylistic harbour from which he sails out for exploratory voyages. The piece sounds confident and the scoring assured [listen - track 4, 09:03-09:59]. The title - The sun's blinking eye - is a line from Thomas Hardy, from which has arisen the composer's wish to marry the expressiveness of romanticism and the strictness of modernism. With his obvious skill and growing experience the result is a capable and fruitful piece.

Taking the contents of this CD as samples of recent music from composers of different generations, it debunks the theory I've met - and probably you've met - that points to the onset of musical chaos after Stravinsky had changed the world with his Rite of Spring. Thank goodness for its liberating influence.


Copyright © 23 February 2000 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK




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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews