<< 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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