Home     Biography     Performances     Works     Listen & Look      Press      Surveys     Programme notes     Links

Gwyn Pritchard: Chamber Concerto
solo piano with flute, clarinet, violin & ‘cello  (1985)

This piece is entitled "Concerto" because its instrumentation places the piano for much of the time in a soloistic role set against a quartet of flute, clarinet, violin and cello, which for much of the piece remain tightly bound together. It is not, however, a piano concerto for chamber forces, and virtuosity in the solo piano part is not the main point of the work. Rather it explores potential relationships between the piano and the other instruments, and certain fundamental differences of character such as the ability of the piano to hold a chord, letting it ring and decay, and the opposite capacity of the instrumental quartet which can both hold and crescendo. The piano also functions as a catalyst in the gradual process whereby the quartet writing moves from the totally homogeneous rhythmic unison of the opening, through various states of internal tension and division, until a point near the end, when the music comes to rest and for a brief moment, each instrument finds its own independent voice. Chamber Concerto was written for, and is dedicated to, the distinguished British pianist Allan Schiller.

Return to Texts index