RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1938): Works for Piano and Orchestra - Piano Concerto, Dream Dancing, Reflections on a Theme of William Walton, Party Piece.
Catalogue Number: 11L088
Reference: MET CD 1071
Description: Dream Dancing is one of several of Bennett's compositions that extend the unique sound of late Debussy, and especially of Syrinx which provides some of its material. Bennett's complete absorption into this shadowy yet crystalline æsthetic is quite uncanny. The Walton Reflections is a set of variations for strings on a note-row borrowed from Walton's second symphony. The first section is elegiac, obviously in memoriam the recently deceased older composer; there follows a lightening of the mood in a freer interlude, then a withdrawn, aching postlude. The breezy Party Piece is a light and tuneful divertimento, with bluesy, Gershwinesque passages alternating with lively, pastoral dancing themes in delightfully appealing combination. The 1968 concerto is easy to listen to and to enjoy, with its delicate orchestral fabrics and the brilliant piano writing, from the filigree of the first movement to the aggressive toccata-like material of the scherzo, and you need never know it's dodecaphonic. Martin Jones (piano), RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; David Angus.