• Kenneth Leighton
  • Four Romantic Pieces (1987)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • Piano
  • 23 min

Programme Note

Kenneth Leighton: Four Romantic Pieces, Op. 95

1. Molto Moderato
2. Presto Capriccioso
3. Adagio Molto
4. Allegro molto e con brio

These extended and quite complex pieces were composed during the second half of 1986 and the first performance was given by the composer last Saturday at the BBC (Pebble Mill) Birmingham.

My first published piano work (Sonatina No. 1) was written in 1946, and since that date I have returned to the piano at several points. These pieces, however, seem to be part of a quite large renewal of interest in the inexhaustible possibilities of the instrument. They were immediately preceded by the Sonata for piano duet, and were followed by a large-scale song-cycle (Earth, sweet earth) for voice and piano, and most recently by a large-scale work for two pianos, completed this summer.

As suggested by the title the texture is rich and the music mainly lyrical. The first piece is largely monothematic and darkly intense. No. 2 is a playful and rather sardonic Scherzo with two distinct ideas, and is followed without a break by No. 3, an extended slow piece which contains perhaps slight echoes of a Scottish tune. No. 4 is a headlong toccata with a contrasting lyrical second theme and the jazz element here is quite strong.
© 1987 Kenneth Leighton

Listen

4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 95: No. 1, Molto moderato
4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 95: No. 2, Presto capriccioso
4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 95: No. 3, Adagio molto
4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 95: No. 4, Allegro molto e con brio

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