JOHN R. WILLIAMSON (b.1929): Music for Piano, Vol. 1 - Piano Sonata No. 2 in F Sharp, Sonatina No. 2 in C, 12 New Piano Preludes, 12 Palindromic Preludes.
Catalogue Number: 12L085
Label: Divine Art
Description: These robust and attractive tonal works, all from the 1990s, introduce a pianist-composer of natural and eloquent gifts. Closely contemporary with Ronald Stevenson, Williamson's tonal vocabulary is similar; while he may not explore the boundaries of pianistic expression as fully as the Scottish composer, his music is likely to appeal to a similar audience. The harmonic language is often infused with suggestions of pentatonic modality, which adds a folk-like flavor' - also a Stevensonian characteristic. Elsewhere, the rigorous and economical writing recalls Alan Bush, and in its hint of Gallic refinement, Lennox Berkeley, with whom Williamson studied. The two sets of preludes consist of pieces of widely contrasting character and mood, with an emphasis on taut dramatic expression. Here and in the substantial sonata the composer makes use of 'palindromic' structures - not true palindromes, but a variety of rhythmic and harmonic mirror forms which lend intriguing shape to the compositions. Murray McLachlan (piano). Original 2001 Dunelm release.