RONALD STEVENSON (b.1928): Passacaglia on DSCH, Promenade Pastorale*, Waltzes*, Fugue, Variations and Epilogue on a Theme by Arnold Bax*, Nocturne (Homage to John Field)*, Variations on a Theme of Pizzetti*, Sonatina No. 2*. * - World Premiere Recordings.
Catalogue Number: 11P069
Description: This release couples a selection of Stevenson's huge and pianistically encyclopedic output that nicely complements Murray Mclachlan's recent set (05O75) with a welcome sixth commercial recording of his legendary masterpiece, Passacaglia on DSCH. The main premiere recordings are two substantial works in variation form. One is based on a theme from Bax's Symphony No. 2, and begins with a movement demonstrating Stevenson's mastery of, and innovative adaptation of, fugue, followed by four variations of remarkably diverse character in his trademark highly expanded, tonal vocabulary. The other, earlier set, consists of more conventional, characterfully diverse variations on a stately sarabande by Pizzetti. Four original compositions are the early, Busoni-influenced Waltzes (with some exuberantly Godowskian piano writing), Nocturne and Sonatina, and the cheekily charming Promenade. * - World Premiere Recordings. 2 CDs. James Wilshire (piano).