Friday 3rd February 2017 at 8:00pm Artrix, Slideslow Drive, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

Schubert: Sonata for Piano in A, D664
Robert Matthew-Walker: Fantasy Sonata ‘Hamlet’ (Piano Sonata No.3) Op.34, and A bad night in Los Angeles [world premiere]
Bliss: Triptych
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No.23 in F minor, 'Appassionata'

As part of Bromsgrove Concerts’ current season, pianist and tireless advocate of British repertoire, Mark Bebbington, performs an entertaining new piece written especially for him by Robert Matthew-Walker; a prolific composer, having written over 160 works, although perhaps better-known to classical audiences as a music critic.

"Following his outstanding recording of my Fantasy-Sonata 'Hamlet', Mark Bebbington asked me for a short solo concert work lasting about five minutes”, explained Matthew-Walker. “I wanted to write something completely different, and decided on a piece in modern disco-style, taking the essence of present-day dance music and transferring it to the recital room. The piece is in F minor, and takes the form of two conjoined dances, the first repeated, in medium-fast tempo. The title comes from a time, many years ago, when I was working in Los Angeles. One evening, I wandered into a night-club to hear a new driving rock band. I was astonished when they opened their set with a modern dance-version of the opening of the French composer Darius Milhaud’s Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra of 1930. As I had studied in Paris with Milhaud, I was taken aback – but it turned out well in the end!”.

Bromsgrove Concerts’ recital also provides another opportunity to hear Matthew-Walker’s ‘Hamlet’ Sonata, recently recorded by Mark Bebbington for the British Music Society on the Naxos label. Inspired by the play’s melancholy moods, the work is full of emotion and broad, dramatic gestures. Bookended by popular works of Schubert and Beethoven, the programme includes a major work by Arthur Bliss.


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