Kenneth Hamilton plays Ronald Stevenson

NEW CD – Volume I of Kenneth Hamilton plays Ronald Stevenson. Kenneth Hamilton discusses his new Stevenson CD on Classical 95.9 WCRI radio in the US under the title “Conducting Conversations”.  This is available as a podcast on the following link: Conducting Conversations
The podcast include some interesting informal chat about the pieces themselves, and includes 7 complete tracks from the CD (the Three Scottish Ballads, Heroic Song for Hugh MacDiarmid, Rachmaninoff Lilacs, Novello/Stevenson “We’ll gather lilacs“, and Tauberiana).
ronald_ken_cover This CD has just become available (July 2016).  Kenneth Hamilton has recorded it on a fine Hamburg Steinway at the School of Music, Cardiff University, in Wales. The playlist is as follows: ronald_ken_tray_insert Peter Grimes Fantasy Three Scottish Ballads:
  1. Lord Randal
  2. The Dowie Dens O’ Yarrow
  3. Newhaven Fishwife’s Cry
Beltane Bonfire Heroic Song for Hugh MacDiarmid Symphonic Elegy for Liszt Chorale and Fugue in Reverse on Themes of Robert and Clara Schumann * Three Elizabethan Pieces after John Bull:
  1. Pavan
  2. Galliard
  3. Jig—The King’s Hunt (revised version) *
Lilacs – Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) )/Ronald Stevenson We’ll Gather Lilacs – Ivor Novello (1893-1951)/Ronald Stevenson Tauberiana (My Heart and I) * Richard Tauber (1891-1948)/Ronald Stevenson   (*first recordings)   Kenneth is already working on the second volume: sponsorship will be very welcome and may be made using the pro forma letter below (click to open this pdf) KennethHamilton_StevePlews_CD_IRC

▶Ronald plays Grainger

Three Scots folk songs, recorded by Richard Black Published on 29 Mar 2015 Recorded live in concert in Brodick, Isle of Arran, approx. 1988. The recording was made on cassette: the piano was showing signs of age. Neither detracts from the playing.

Le Festin d’Alkan

Ronald Stevenson – Le Festin d’Alkan (1st mvt, Hamelin) Audio + Sheet music played by Marc-André Hamelin at Greenwich Piano Festival in Blackheath in 1999 For pianophiles extraordinaires (see below) Ronald Stevenson’s (1928-) immensely difficult Le Festin d’Alkan: Concerto for solo piano without orchestra. This is the first movement, a firm, tumultuous free composition. This is the premiere performance (and the only one, as far as I know), given by Marc-André Hamelin at Greenwich Piano Festival in Blackheath, 06/09/1999. At the beginning of the score there is a hand-written introduction by the composer: “The title of this work will be readily recognisable as a homage to Alkan’s well-known “Le Festin d’Aesop”. My work also pays tribute to Alkan’s later preference for giving “petits concerts” in his study for a few friends rather than public concerts for a larger audience. That had become my own preference. This work, “Le Festin d’Alkan”, encapsulates my aesthetic conviction that free composition, free transcription and free variation (the forms of my three movements in order of performance) are all essentially the same thing. If a transcription is free enough it becomes both free variations and free composition.” (read more on YouTube)