In its bell-like sonorities, clear textures and ritual manner, the piano music of Robert Saxton (born in London in 1953) suggests an almost oriental fascination with light and the way light refracts and diffracts – and yet it is audibly music written by an Englishman. In the two Books of Saxton’s Hortus Musicae in particular, this fascinating confluence generates a soundworld somewhere downstream from Takemitsu and Tippett, giving these gardens of music both a ceremonial dignity and sense of spring growth.
Clare Hammond, piano
Catalogue No: TOCC0458EAN/UPC: 5060113444585Release Date: 01.03.2018Composer: Robert Saxton Artists: Clare Hammond
Download the Booklet
Hortus Musicae, Book 1 (2013)*
Hortus Musicae, Book 2 (2015)*
Gramophone Magazine :
“Central to the music’s efficaciousness is Hammond herself, of course. Book 1 arguably foregrounds the surface qualities of her playing, such as purity of line and shape, but Book 2 delves deeper, challenging the pianist to maintain clarity and transparency in often more complex and multilayered settings.
Hammond also gives an excellent account of the much earlier Piano Sonata. Written in memory of Béla Bartók, it starts with a mercurial main theme which darts around animatedly, pausing for short gasps of breath before surging forwards. The sonata ends with stasis and movement collapsing into one another in a frantic flourish of rising scales and dense chords. That Hammond succeeds on both counts is testimony to her musicianship but also to Saxton’s ability to write effectively with performer and instrument in mind.” —Pwyll ap Siôn, Gramophone Magazine
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