HCR
International-facing contemporary music from Huddersfield

Beat Generation BalladsMichael Finnissy Beat Generation

Released to celebrate composer Michael Finnissy's seventieth year, Beat Generation Ballads presents the premiere recordings of two of Finnissy's recent major piano works - First Political Agenda (1989-2004) and Beat Generation Ballads (2014) - both performed by internationally acclaimed pianist, Phillip Thomas.
 
"Listeners who have been following closely the music and development of Michael Finnissy over the past half-century, or who are familiar with his wide-ranging and prolific output, will be accustomed to being wrong-footed when hearing a new work. Finnissy is a master of counteracting supposed stylistic traits, continually enlarging his gamut of references, forms and notational practices. The two works presented here will likely prove no exception. Yet they also serve as ideal introductions to the composer's vision, methods and language. Typically evocative (and provocative) titles combine with a diverse set of musical references, from Bach to jazz, Irish republican song to Webern. Though it is Beethoven that looms most large..."
 
-Phillip Thomas

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TRACKLISTING

1 First Political Agenda i. Wrong place. Wrong time.
2 First Political Agenda ii. Is there any future for new music?
3 First Political Agenda iii. You know what kind of sense Mrs. Thatcher made.
4 Beat Generation Ballads i. Lost But Not Lost
5 Beat Generation Ballads ii. naked original skin beneath our dreams & robes of thought
6 Beat Generation Ballads iii. Lonely Banna Strand
7 Beat Generation Ballads iv. Evans, Harry, Scott, hearts foolish
8 Beat Generation Ballads v. Veränderungen

Artists: Phillip Thomas, piano

Cat # HCR11CD


REVIEWS

'Both have titles provoking awareness that there’s more to music than crochets and quavers...First Political Agenda is a quasi-sonata whose first movement, “Wrong place. Wrong time”, is an explosion of modernismus almost parodic in its black disjunctiveness' Sunday Times

'It’s music that can be overwhelmingly complex and forbidding, tenderly sentimental, or frankly autobiographical. And it is strewn with allusions and references to a range of other periods and styles. Those characteristics and qualities are on display in the two large-scale works on Philip Thomas’s thoughtful and superbly played disc' The Guardian ****

 

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Philip Thomas (b.1972, North Devon) specialises in performing new and experimental music, including both notated and improvised music. He places much emphasis on each concert being a unique event, designing imaginative programmes that provoke and suggest connections. Philip is a regular pianist with leading experimental music group Apartment House, with whom he has performed in festivals across the UK and Europe. He has also performed with the Quatuor Bozzini, and in duos with Mark Knoop, Ian Pace and John Tilbury (piano duet and two pianos) and James Saunders (electronics).

RECORDING INFORMATION

Recorded at St Paul's Hall, Huddersfield on 10th September 2015

Sound engineering, editing, and mastering: Alex Harker

 

Release date: 24th June 2016

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