Rory Boyle: Music for solo piano; Phaethon’s Dancing Lesson

In Rory Boyle’s sixtieth year, virtuoso pianist James Willshire’s debut recording pays birthday tribute, exploring the full gamut of Boyle’s compositional personality – from the cragginess of his finely wrought Sonata to the intensely human lyricism of Tatty’s Dance, itself a sixtieth-birthday present for Boyle’s wife. Dancing is also the subject of Boyle’s Piano Trio No 2 (Phaethon’s Dancing Lesson), in which Willshire is joined by his fellow members of the Bartholdy Trio.

"Boyle (born 1951) has built a compact oeuvre of predominantly tonal pieces that showcase a gift for natural melody. Too traditional for today’s taste? Judging by this CD he deserves to be better known...In all, Boyle shows a distinctive voice and fluent imagination"

"this entire compilation is a vibrant, all-consuming insight into a composer whose music, with its worldly scope, extends way beyond mere craftsmanship"

"a composer of considerable range and depth...This is challenging, yet accessible music."

"Boyle’s compact, pungent Sonata makes for compelling listening, especially the central Recitatives and Dreams with its bell-like sonorities...the myth of Phaethon driving the sun chariot allows Boyle to compose a compact sequence of five bleak, pithy dances. It’s not a comfortable listening experience, but it’s so, so exciting."

Producer: Paul Baxter
Release Date: 25 April 2011
Catalogue No: DCD34098
Total playing time: 1:07:58

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