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In her booklet note, Bingham states that ‘the piano is a difficult instrument that poses some problems for the composer’, needing ‘a fine player to produce a range of colour, and that also depends on the instrument’. If that seems an unpromising perception for a composer of piano pieces, it has – paradoxically – fired her imagination, the seven works on this disc tantamount to a rediscovering of the piano as a vehicle for compositional thought.

They range from Chopin (1979), a somewhat Lisztian evocation of one of her musical idols, to the coruscating Byron, Violent Progress (2008), based on her setting of She Walks in Beauty like the Night, and the restrained Annunciation II (2009, written for David Jones and receiving its recording premiere here), in which one can hear the beating of the angel’s wings – or is it the querulous virgin’s heart?

On the evidence of these works, Londoner-by-adoption Bingham is a tone painter rather than an abstract composer, using a rich, free tonal palette with a more cosmopolitan feel than that of her English-sounding choral works. Try the atmospheric The Moon over Westminster Cathedral (2003) and Limehouse Nocturne (2004), pieces with a dark undertow. Jones performs with a clear sympathy for Bingham’s idiosyncratic but lucid keyboard style, though the acoustic of The Venue, Leeds, contrives to make his Steinway a touch clattery, a potential pitfall Bingham does not make allowance for in her booklet notes. Recommended.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing