Hyperion Records

Six Studies 'Study Variations', Op 56
composer
1969

Recordings
'Stephen Hough's English Piano Album' (CDA67267)
Stephen Hough's English Piano Album
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Details
Variation 1: Adagio molto
Variation 2: Allegro molto e secco, molto ritmico
Variation 3: Adagio molto, mysterioso ma molto espressivo
Variation 4: Allegro leggiero e capriccioso
Variation 5: Allegro molto, nervoso
Variation 6: Presto con bravura – precipitosa, il più presto possible al fine

Six Studies 'Study Variations', Op 56
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Kenneth Leighton had a distinguished life as a composer, pianist and, latterly, as Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University. He wrote his Six Study-Variations in 1969 and they are an important and inexplicably neglected example of English piano music at its best. The rhythmic inventiveness—moving from the pointillism of the second and fourth studies to the snappy, jazz-like syncopations of the ferociously virtuosic final one—is always perfectly judged and paced, and the harmonic tension never strains nor slacks. At the heart of the work is the densely chromatic third study in which slow, repeated notes collide and rise inexorably in thickening clusters to a fist-shaking climax of defiant intensity.

from notes by Stephen Hough © 2002

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