The Music of Jeremy Dale Roberts
Release Date 2005
Catalogue No. LNT118
Jeremy Dale Roberts
Hiroake Takenouchi (piano)
Dimitri Murrath (viola)
Odaline de la Martínez (conductor)
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Paul Driver, THE SUNDAY TIMES
Dale Roberts is well known as a composition teacher, but this disc, reflecting a concert for his 70th birthday given by Lontano (itself 30 years old), makes clear his own, distinctive creative voice. His studiously economical but intense style - minimising rhetoric but certainly not 'minimalist' - has been compared to that of the painter Morandi, and the 25-minute collection of piano pieces, Ogetti (played by Hiroake Takenouchi), is indeed an omaggio a Morandi. Croquis (for string trio) lightens the modernist mood, with a quodlibet movement made from fragments of great music. Winter Music is a powerful, bleak sextet, climaxing on a searing trumpet outburst.
Robert Matthew-Walker, MUSICAL OPINION
Jeremy Dale Roberts is now 72 and has pursued a distinguished career as composer and teacher for many years, so this recent CD from Lontano is both welcome in that it reminds us of the voice of one of the more philosophical British composers of his generation, and hopefully will enable a wider public to come into contact with music that has been unjustly neglected.
This music certainly deserves wider appreciation. Jeremy Dale Roberts is a remarkable figure in that whilst acknowledging a broad range of influences he has remained utterly true to himself. There are within his music rare feelings of a fragile but not weak beauty, of a delight in sound per se, not sounds of hefty orchestral tuttis, but those of a solo line, or instrumental coloration, the importance of which often passes superficial listeners by.
The biggest work by far here is the Oggeti for Piano Solo, much of it in slow time, which receives a performance of considerable concentration and beauty of touch from Hiroaki Takenouchi. The shorter Wieglied for Solo Viola is equally well played by the gifted Dimitri Murrath. The other pieces here are scored for various instrumental combinations and are given with assurance and commitment by Lontano under the admirably indefatigable Odaline de la Martínez. The recordings are excellent, as is the presentation. A valuable disc.