LYELL CRESSWELL (b.1944): Piano Concerto, Concerto for Orchestra and String Quartet, I Paesaggi dell'anima.
Catalogue Number: 03P092
Description: Cresswell has an unusual and individual harmonic vocabulary, with a firm basis in tonality but with interesting and unpredictable extensions to the idiom and a rich sense of timbral sonority and orchestral color. The piano concerto, in seven distict but continuous sections was written in tribute to the composer Edward Harper during his final illness and after his death. Beginning with a sonorous funeral march, the work exudes powerful feelings of shock and anger, alongside passages of more restrained mourning. "Landscapes of the Soul" explores the representation of landscape in art, in a vividly imagined sonic palette of pattern, color and evolving shapes. Gorgeous wide-spanning chords and sonorous backgrounds are flecked with the light and shadow of passing motifs. The quartet concerto 'assembles' a 'composite soloist' as it progresses, by introducing the quartet piecemeal, until their tense dialogue becomes the central musical argument. The work's predominantly tragic, questioning tone reflects its role as a memorial to friends of the composer who died during its composition. Stephen De Pledge (piano), New Zealand String Quartet, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Hamish McKeich.