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CD Spotlight

FROM RAGS TO RICHES

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'... clear purpose and technical prowess.'

Peter Dickinson's music -
with BASIL RAMSEY

 

The music of Peter Dickinson has never succeeded in gaining regular performing space at the centre of musical fashion, which need not be a curious matter if one recognises the anomalies of professional performance.

With three CDs of music issued by one company, this English composer (and one of M&V's valued contributors) is on display with an effective range of his music for listening and evaluating according to our own musical standpoint. Dickinson was born and studied in England, and then at the Juilliard in New York, from which stemmed a deep interest in American music.

Peter Dickinson - Piano Concerto, Outcry, Organ Concerto (c) 1999 Peter Dickinson

His Piano Concerto (1979-84) [listen -- TROY 360 track 7, 1:00-track 8, 0:20], at 25 minutes, is a single movement embracing various moods and differing speeds handling three main themes. Dickinson has a vivid interest in the development of traditional jazz, so he often incorporates the rhythms and styles of blues, rags, and other syncopated music mixed with more traditional elements, depending on his intentions for a specific work. This is a fascinating mix from which Dickinson has spun a colourful and unusual concerto. Unified as we would expect, it is carefully balanced in shifting tempi and moods.

Howard Shelley plays the intricate and often delicate solo part with finesse, although pyrotechnics are there to fizz and glitter occasionally. Indeed, the orchestra also has plenty to do, and another pianist with an upright injects a classic rag (based on the concerto themes) to mingle, and in its own way to indicate the composer's overall intention of diversity in unity.

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Copyright © 28 January 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - ALBANY TROY 360 (CONCERTOS)

PURCHASE THE CONCERTOS DISC FROM AMAZON

PURCHASE THE CONCERTOS DISC FROM CROTCHET

A PETER DICKINSON BIOGRAPHY

CD INFORMATION - ALBANY TROY 365 (SONG CYCLES)

PURCHASE THE SONG CYCLES DISC FROM AMAZON

PURCHASE THE SONG CYCLES DISC FROM CROTCHET

CD INFORMATION - ALBANY TROY 369 (RAGS)

PURCHASE THE RAGS DISC FROM AMAZON

 

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