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:
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).
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:
Peter Grimes Fantasy
Three Scottish Ballads:
The Dowie Dens O’ Yarrow
Newhaven Fishwife’s Cry
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:
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
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)
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.
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)