Magazine article Gramophone

Sculthorpe: 'Complete Works for Solo Piano'

Magazine article Gramophone

Sculthorpe: 'Complete Works for Solo Piano'

Article excerpt


'Complete Works for Solo Piano'

Tamara-Anna Cislowska pf

ABC Classics [B] (2) ABC4811181 (159' * DDD)

The last time I saw Peter Sculthorpe, who died in August aged 85, was two years ago when I visited the small studio behind his Woollahra house in Sydney. One wall was covered in books, while a wonderful 18th-century Japanese screen hung over a writing desk on another. Near the window was his famous Moore and Moore baby grand, which as Chris Latham writes in his insightful notes to this superb release, 'was by no means an exceptional piano ... [but] had held pride of place at the centre of his composing world for over 50 years'.

Sculthorpe had an abiding interest in Australian Aboriginal music and it is present in one form or another throughout much of his oeuvre. As he told me that day, this was not an appropriation but an absorption. 'You have an indigenous melody that grew from the land, that was a way of looking at the land. I think about the melody and sing it to myself as a way of absorbing it, and it does change. …

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