ROGER SMALLEY (b.1943): Accord, DAVID LUMSDAINE (b.1931): Flights, RICCARDO FORMOSA (b.1954): Pour les vingt doigts.
Catalogue Number: 06Q081
Reference: CCD 1078
Format: CD reissue
Description: The most substantial work here is Smalley's forty-minute Accord, which has a certain epic, architectural quality, and a concern with virtuosity and the sonorities available to the two-piano medium. The piece explores its material in a wide and often seemingly tenuously related range of idioms in a language that is often not obviously very tonal, and there is no 'theme' as such, but rather a chord that provides the intervallic material on which the piece is based. Lumsdaine's Flights, like many of the composer's works, is inspired by the forms and sounds of nature, in this case a river estuary. There is a degree of freedom in the co-ordination between the pianists' material, adding to the sense of organic malleability of the music's progression. Lumsdaine's approach to birdsong notation, central to the piece's atmosphere, strongly evokes Messiaen's, so the active 'flight' passages that punctuate and overlap the more solid sounds of earth and water have a distinctly familiar sound. Formosa's piece is an extrovert, gestural work, rapidly traversing a range of busy, dynamic textures and techniques based on an abstract set of material. Daniel Herscovitch, Erzsébet Marosszéky (pianos). Original 1996 release.