Skempton - Man and Bat, Piano Concerto, The Moon is Flashing, Eternity’s Sunrise | First Hand Records FHR090

Skempton - Man and Bat, Piano Concerto, The Moon is Flashing, Eternity’s Sunrise


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Label: First Hand Records

Cat No: FHR090

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 25th October 2019



This album of premiere recordings of works by Howard Skempton, including Man and Bat, the Piano Concerto, The Moon is Flashing and Eternity’s Sunrise, features possibly the greatest baritone of our time, Roderick Williams, the celebrated tenor James Gilchrist, leading chamber pianist Tim Horton and the fantastic Ensemble 360.

Skempton’s music can be said to be exquisite and simple, with strong clarity and sophistication. His finely crafted, distinctive writing is sometimes catchy, sometimes transcendental, always memorable.

Howard Skempton was born in Chester in 1947, and has worked as a composer, accordionist and music publisher. He studied in London with Cornelius Cardew from 1967, which helped Skempton to discover a musical language of great simplicity. Since then he has continued to write undeflected by compositional trends, producing a corpus of more than 300 works - many pieces being miniatures for solo piano or accordion. Skempton calls these pieces ‘the central nervous system’ of his work.

Skempton’s catalogue of works is also as diverse as it is long, ranging from pieces for solo cello (Six Figures, 1998), and guitar (Five Preludes, 1999), to the Chamber Concerto for fifteen players, the Concerto for Hurdy-Gurdy and Percussion, and Lento, premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in 1991, and performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov, at the 2010 BBC Proms.


... a recital to savour.  Claire Jackson
BBC Music Magazine Christmas 2019

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