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Friday, October 21, 2016

Peter Maxwell Davies, Piano Works 1949-2009, Richard Casey

Peter Maxwell Davies is no longer with us. But he has left behind an extraordinarily distinguished and vital body of works spanning many years and a number of style shifts. The finality of his departure closes the book on anything truly new from him, of course, yet we have a treasure island's worth of wonderful music to explore while we still live ourselves, and of course for musical lovers in the ages to come.

Piano Works 1949-2009 (Prima Facie 017/018) gives us a broad and scintillating body of examples of his solo piano works, covering 60 years and a myriad of style sets and difficulty levels. Richard Casey does the honors and he certainly is the right artist for the job.

Two full CDs of music gives the listener a very broad swath of contrasting sounds and styles. There are difficult, very high modernist expressions along with tonal lyric miniatures for the relative beginner.

Throughout though there is a consistency of craftsmanship, inspiration and idiosyncratic originality which Casey tackles with enthusiastic precision. A short but illuminating discussion on the music between Maxwell Davies and the pianist closes out the set.

It is a worthwhile addition to your library for its pianism, its insights into the Maxwell Davies musical mind and its appreciable contribution to the modernist solo piano repertoire.

Nicely done! Quite recommended.

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