COLIN TWIGG (b.1960): Piano Quartet, String Quartet No. 1, String Trio, Piano Trio, Phantasy Variations on a Theme of Haydn for String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 05S067
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0387
Description: A violinist- (and violist)-composer, Twigg has had a distinguished career as solo, chamber and orchestral musician, and this broad range of expertise is readily evident in these immaculately crafted, idiomatically expressive chamber works. The composer's idiom is resolutely tonal, with a number of readily identifiable classical and romantic antecedents, from which he has forged his own style. The Phantasy Variations conform to the formula of the Cobbett phantasy, a succinct work in contrasting, connected sections, and in homage to Haydn's bicentenary, the work has a very neoclassical, Haydnesque style and humor. Janáček is clearly a major influence; his fingerprints are all over both the quartet that explicitly pays homage to the Czech composer's birthplace, and the trio, in the repeating ostinato cells, long-limbed high violin melodies and a fondness for whole-tone and bitonal scales which lend a certain eastern-European flavor to much of the music. There are also traces of English Romanticism throughout, with suggestions of Elgar (especially in the piano quartet), though there is little, if any, pastoral folksiness. A sense of taut dramatic argument and emotional range pervades all of these extremely fine, thoroughly enjoyable works. Bridge String Quartet, Montpellier String Trio, Hiroaki Takenouchi (piano).