View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the CD release of English Country-Tunes on Discogs. Home» Catalogue» Michael FINNISSY: English Country-Tunes. Share this. Share on Reddit Share on Google+ Share on Facebook Pin on Pinterest Email this. Album · · 8 Songs. Available with an Apple Music subscription. Try it free.
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Michael Finnissy’s music is intricate in texture, but strongly built on the basis finnssy clearly perceptible and well-proportioned contrasts between the aggressive and the restrained. English Country-Tunes was composed inwhen Finnissy was 31, and its style may strike listeners weaned on Xenakis, or the earlier Boulez and Stockhausen, as conforming almost too uncritically to the expressionistic precepts of these masters.
Anyone anticipating Graingerish essays in flamboyant folkishness will soon realize that they have been led up the garden path but, tumes luck, they won’t mind too much.
Michael FINNISSY: English Country-Tunes
The tunes identified by Finnissy’s titles—”Green meadows”, ”The seeds of love”, and so on—might ultimately be revealed if every one of the layers of transformation were stripped away. But there remains a certain Satie-esque spirit in the association of such evocative labels with tunees uncompromising music.
Beneath its modernist surface Finnissy’s piano writing has a Lisztian range, alternating bell-like meditations with virtuosic outbursts: Weighing in at a continuous 53 minutes, English Country-Tunes is ambitious and exciting, while betraying a degree of compositional inexperience or willfulness in establishing so quickly its essential strategy of contrasts between ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ musics. In the later stages Finnissy at last allows a more sustained and extreme opposition between an almost idealized quasi-nostalgia and an alarmingly protracted assault on the opposite ends of the all-accepting piano.
Finnissy is an ideal advocate of his own music, making it plain that its technical demands are not ends in themselves but the only means whereby so powerful an expressive display can convincingly be mounted; and he has the advantage of good sound, taken from a BBC recording of Whatever Skempton may be, he is no expressionist, with a gentle, by no means unvaried and far from uniformly consonant style that is simple in technique but never superficial in manner.
Eirenicon means ”step promoting peace”, and Skempton’s music exemplifies the uncomplacent spirit of non-violence.
Newman’s music is also simple in the strictly technical sense: But his ‘steps’ promote more disturbed emotions than Skempton’s. There is a sense of menace, of a logic trying to escape from its own increasing fibnissy and becoming anarchic in the process, that is strongly conveyed by Finnissy’s scrupulously graded playing.
Judith Weir’s compositions have coungry many listeners will sense as a more traditional balance between directness and elaboration than the rest of the music on this conutry. Where Finnissy’s pieces tend to sprawl, Weir’s are pithy, sometimes skirting blandness but blessedly precise in design and bursting with imaginative ideas.
Finnissy’s own music is most arresting when least committed to avant-garde routines: His playing is remarkable at both extremes—sustained, singing softness and ferocious yet well-stratified thumping. On this disc, too, the instrument is well recorded.
But I have a minor concluding moan. Why does neither insert repeat the contents’ list given on the back of the relevant jewel-box?
If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information. Skip to main content. Michael Peter Finnissy Composer.
Composition Artist Credits Michael’s Strathspey. Stanley Stokes, East Street Le repos sur le lit. News of my own.
Finnissy: English Country Tunes
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Finnissy: English Country Tunes – Michael Finnissy | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
Judith Weir Composer Michael Finnissy pf. Howard Skempton Composer Michael Finnissy pf. Chris Newman Composer Michael Finnissy pf.