Latin American Music - Choral Music
Women Composers - Instrumental Music
20th Century & Living Composers

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Lontano Records Limited

Review of LNT138: Rob Keeley: Dances with Bears

Rob Barnett, Musicweb

Rob Keeley: Dances with Bears Rob Keeley is a British composer whose studies took him to Oliver Knussen (RCM), Bernard Rose (Magdalen College Oxford) and Robert Saxton. Later his teachers included Franco Donatoni and Hans Werner Henze. After years as a freelance pianist and répétiteur he is now on the staff of King’s College London and is an active concert musician…

This collection of colourfully active music starts with the kaleidoscopic jerky eloquence of Quetzali. On the tiles, for violin and piano, deploys music with pronounced spaces between phrases. This halting and thoughtful effect makes way for writing of a brambly Bartókian kind. Dances with Bears is “An imaginary ursine choreography” which moves in a constellation of unsentimental dissonance; Copland at his most chilled…

Tales from the Golden City is in three short movements. The composer tells us that it was written quickly one summer in Llandudno. The finale is a dignified dance. Each of the movements starts in various guises with a recognisable little figure which the composer says is intended to suggest Scheherazade. Finally there’s the Concerto for piano and 12 instruments (2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 2 violins, 2 violas, double bass, bassoon, horn and percussion). It’s in four movements the textures of which would go well with those of Constant Lambert’s Concerto for piano and nine instruments. The icy central Adagio is buttressed by two more brilliant movements…

Other reviews of this CD:

Jed Distler, Gramophone
Robin Holloway