Nicolas Hodges assessment supple and gritty Elisabeth Luytens premiere

In the a long time after the second world battle wrote probably the most difficult and uncompromising music any British composer her time. But little it’s heard these days, and even the upsurge in curiosity in 20th-century feminine composers has hardly furthered her trigger. Underlining the neglect Lutyens’s music since her demise, in 1983, started his recital with the world premiere her Five Impromptus Op 116, which have been composed in 1977 for the Australian pianist Roger Woodward however which he appears by no means to have carried out.

The impromptus are usually supple, gritty miniatures, notated with out bar traces to emphasize their rhythmic freedom, and solely often touching down on stable tonal floor. The sequence maybe traces the form a compressed sonata, with a discursive opening motion accelerations and slowings-down, and a quick succession quiet chords functioning as a central gradual episode. But nothing is wasted and each gesture is pared all the way down to its practical minimal.

Interspersed with three late Liszt items and a few early Brahms, there have been two extra premieres in Hodges’s programme: the primary British performances items written for him by and , each which look at, in very alternative ways, the operate virtuosity in up to date piano music. In Clarke’s Untitled No 7, ecstatic high-register bravura writing is the purpose in direction of which the entire piece aspires, whereas in Thomalla’s Ballade.Rauschen, quick, undifferentiated figuration and explosive clusters show to be the best way overcoming rigour and thematicism, and escaping from the disconcerting recollections earlier music that emerge in the course of the 20-minute piece. Each work presents large technical challenges, which Hodges, usually, met with cool command.