Written title - Ian Stewart - composer/musician handwritten

Expressionist Pieces (for solo piano)

1. Skipton Road
2. Canon Cancrizans
3. Quasi Allegro
(11 minutes 15 seconds)
(I. -   4' 30;      II. -   3' 00;      III. -   3' 45)

First complete performance - Tuesday 2nd June 1992
British Music Information Centre
Stratford Place, London W1
performed by:

Geraint Davies - Piano

First performance of Skipton Road - Wednesday 26th June 1991
Recital room - Goldsmith's College
performed by: Geraint Davies - Piano

Skipton Road

Geraint Davies (live recording)



Skipton Road

Geraint Davies (live recording)



Skipton Road

Geraint Davies (live recording)




These three pieces were written for Geraint Davies, the first piece for his performance at Goldsmith's College in 1991. The other two pieces were added for his performance at BMIC in 1992.
Geraint's interest in, and commitment to, contemporary and experimental music gave me an opportunity to explore more way-out structures, knowing he would get inside the music and unify the most diverse compositional techniques.

Original programme notes:

Skipton Road
This piece was started, and the opening section completed, in a small hotel on Skipton Road, Utley, about nine miles out of Bradford, while I was accompanying workshops organized by a ballet company one autumn. Although the piece is in no way descriptive, the character of the opening is perhaps more redolent of moorlands as winter approaches than summer holidays on the Adriatic.
The piece was very much thought of in terms of the piano's resonance; the way overtones give static chords a sense of movement and produce their own complex harmonies. And of course the other attraction of writing for solo piano is the pianist's sense of tradition which informs the playing of everything, so the music can range from ponderous rubato sections to precise rhythmic passages.

Canon Cancrizans
This piece is basically a two part invention although sometimes intervals or chords are integrated into the individual voices. The retrograde part is sometimes changed slightly for compositional reasons. The strict nature of this canonic form gives the music a certain quality but there is no point in the piece where the music suddenly and obviously reverses; for me this would destroy the momentum of the composition.

Quasi allegro
This piece uses one of my favourite styles of piano writing. The piece has the quality of monodic writing, single lines becoming clusters, sparse chords and tremolandos, producing a piece that is linear and percussive with toccata like passages. Some material from Skipton Road is used in this piece.