Magazine article Gramophone

'Colour and Light': Alwyn Twelve Preludes Delius Margot la Rouge (Arr Ravel)

Magazine article Gramophone

'Colour and Light': Alwyn Twelve Preludes Delius Margot la Rouge (Arr Ravel)

Article excerpt

'Colour and Light'

Alwyn Twelve Preludes Delius Margot la Rouge (arr Ravel). Nocturne (arr Threlfall) Dickinson Paraphrase II AH Hill Litany. Toccata Lutyens The Ring of Bone

Nathan Williamson pf

Somm Celeste (F) 50MMCD0196 (78' * DDD)

The eclecticism and stylistic contrasts characterising the works on Nathan Williamson's newest release reveal this pianist's knack for conceiving intelligent and freshly minted playlists of relatively unfamiliar yet worthy repertoire. Indeed, the contents and running order would make for a most satisfying and stimulating recital programme, with or without intermission.

Although William Alwyn's Twelve Preludes from 1958 restrict each piece to a finite number of pitches, the composer's imagination seems unencumbered by his self-imposed parameters. Williamson's interpretation is comparable to John Ogdon's memorable composer-supervised recording (Chandos, 11/85), and more conscientious in regard to articulation and dynamics. Yet, at times, Ogdon's more flexible approach yields sexier dividends. In contrast to Williamson's relatively straitlaced and literal way with Prelude No 10, Ogdon coyly toys with the pulse and projects the left-hand writing in curvier light. While Williamson rightly emphasises No 4's motoric, quasi-Prokofievian force, Ogdon finds colourful contrasts, abetted by his more generous pedalling.

In his booklet notes, Peter Dickinson succinctly outlines the structural rigour governing his 1967 Paraphrase II, a loosely knit theme and variation set. …

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