Alan Richardson: Three Short Pieces for Two Pianos [Caprice on a Theme of Liszt, Waltz, Passepied]
Alan was a complete musician – a composer, performer, teacher, and a person of extraordinary natural musicality. Small wonder then that he was viewed with profound respect by all those within the musical profession who were privileged to come into contact with him … As a pianist one was struck by his innate rhythmic verve, a facet which indeed radiated through all his compositions – but perhaps the quality above all else that will be remembered was that which can best be described as a mezzo voce bel canto, the realisation of a choice and refined ear, and the product of a deep thinker and inner tranquillity’. It is that satisfying synergy of elegant lyricism and rhythmic energy which distinguishes the keyboard works of pianist and composer Alan Richardson. [Paul Conway]
The three short pieces were not published during the composer’s life. Nimbus Music Publishing is grateful to the Richardson Estate for permission to make them available in this edition.
A delightful and enchanting addition to the two piano repertoire
These are enchanting pieces, and beautifully written. It is immediately evident that Alan Richardson was a superb composer, who deserves to be much better known. All three of these pieces appear to flow effortlessly, but this belies the skill and craftsmanship with which they are composed. The composer clearly had a fantastic understanding of the piano and the two instruments are beautifully and sensitively balanced. The pieces are very comfortable and pianistic and I loved playing them through myself. They are not too difficult, but there is never a sense of the composer compromising what he wanted and needed to say. The Caprice on a theme of Liszt really captures the spirit of the composer, but the sense of whimsy and deliciously chromatic harmonies add some intriguing spice to the mixture. I loved the Waltz, sometimes pretending to be po-faced, but actually quite naughty with its bluesy harmonies and cheeky rhythms. The Passepied gives a nod to the "English pastoral" style of writing, and takes us through some delightful and unexpected harmonic byways.
The score is beautifully laid out and I am fairly certain that it will put smiles on the faces of almost every piano duo. Warmly recommended! James Kirby