Bowen composed a toccata in 1901 while still a student. Another constitutes the finale of his Suite No 3, Op 38 of 1920, and his third and last, heard here, dates from 1957. It remains unpublished. The piece shows its creator’s accumulated wisdom in its highly successful fusion of unaccustomed textural economy and an undiminished taste for exciting pyrotechnics. The effect is thus of notable cumulative force enhanced by a relentless rhythmic drive. The final assault on the piano’s lowest note by the player’s right hand may perhaps be an enthusiastic nod in the direction of Debussy’s L’Isle Joyeuse
and its identical closing device.
from notes by Francis Pott © 1996