ALBUM: Contemporary British Piano Music
ARTIST: Jonathan Middleton

Sleeve Notes

Three Shadow Portraits - David Golightly
1. Vigoroso Fuoco 2. Andante Expressivo 3. Brilliante Volante

Composed for Jonathan Middleton. Virtuosic and demanding, they explore the whole timbre range of the piano and their technical and musical difficulties are a reflection of my admiration for Jonathan's ability. These portraits are dedicated to three ladies who passed through my life, leaving a legacy of special gifts.

Three Pieces For Piano - Jeremy Pike
1. Intermezzo 2. Separations 3. Intermezzo
The opening Intermezzo was composed in 1974 and first performed at a student composers' concert in King's College, Cambridge, the following year. Separations takes its title from the use of diverging pitches which spread outwards from the note D. It was written in 1977 and performed at the RAM and Warwick University. The second Intermezzo was composed shortly afterwards to create a set of three pieces. It uses interval relationships prominent in both the other pieces and acts as a counterbalance to the first.

Piano-song - Joanna Treasure

This was conceived at Canford in 1992. I wanted to celebrate the spectrum of sounds offered by the piano in the extremes of range, dynamics and timbre, and in particular enjoy the shimmering harmonics which are released by the use of the sustaining pedal. It was a natural compositional step for me to explore varying rates of movement. In the performance of its first draft. I used two pianists and a solo trombonist who played the melody of the middle section. As I developed it into its Final form over the next few months, every time I worked on the piece I became completely absorbed in the process of playing it. Despite its deceptively simple appearance on the page, I found that the focus required by the music was as calming and refreshing for me as a meditation.

Three Preludes Op. 49 for Piano - Stuart Scott

These pieces were first performed by Richard Deering at a BMIC concert in London on December 15th 1980 and are dedicated to Iris Loveridge. Although each of the three preludes is short in length and based on a single extended idea, the pianist is presented with some technical problems. The first contains much interlocking and crossing of parts, building one long crescendo to a tragic climax, whilst the second, written mostly in only two parts, presents a slow singing piece, the harmonic content of which depends on deft pedalling. The final prelude is recognised by its dazzling speed and rhythm which quickly recede into the distance at its conclusion.

Introduction, Fantasia and Passacaglia - Margaret Wegener

This was commissioned in 1980 by David Ruddock who requested a substantial piece to challenge his technique. The Fantasia was completed in 1981 and performed by David at a concert in Herne, Kent, but the other two movements were not completed until later. The whole work received its first performance at the composer's 75th birthday concert in 1995. As the name suggests, the Fantasia is a free flowing piece whereas the Passacaglia is subject to the limitations of the ground bass and gave the composer some difficulties in its completion.

Three Impressionist Sketches For Piano - Colin Bayliss
1. September Sunlight 2. Thameslight 3. Kaleidoscope:Matinée Musicale

These three piano pieces date from the autumn of 1981, and parts of them were later extended into the first three movements of the "Romantic" Symphony in F sharp major. The titles refer to actual events at that lime: number I, a sunset on the North Downs in Kent; number 2, a rain-interrupted firework display on the South Bank, where the "Thames" theme, similar to Smetana's" Vlatava" theme, is transformed into a half-stated opening of Brahms' fourth symphony in the quiet G major coda. Number 3 was written after a matinee performance of "Isadora", with music by Richard Rodney Bennett. The Kaleidoscope is a satirical treatment of Bennett's dance pastiches, particularly the tango.

Jonathan Middleton - Piano
In his student days at the Royal Northern College of Music, Jonathan Middleton was given many opportunities for public performance, including several major recitals and concerto appearances at which he played the Mozart Concerto in F (K4S9), and the Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 5. As a prize winner in the prestigious BBC Television "Young Musician of the Year" he was particularly commended for his playing of Liszt - one distinguished adjudicator writing of his performance of "Funérailles" stated "... it was simply the best I have ever heard".

Mr Middleton's repertoire is comprehensive, ranging from Scarlatti and Bach to the present day, but it is with the music of Liszt that he has been most closely associated. Whilst still a student, he gave a performance of the Liszt Piano Concerto in E flat and received reviews referring to his " barnstorming virtuosity" and "beautiful, Chopinesque poetry" (Guardian), His farewell to the RNCM was in a "Principal's Concert", which included a performance of Liszt's "Valléze d'Obermann" of which the Daily Telegraph praised "...Middleton's assured, gripping and triumphant reading." He has given recitals widely throughout England and has also had experience as an accompanist and Chamber musician, including a performance of the Schumann Piano Quintet with the Mistry Quartet at Logan Hall in London, where be has been a regular recitalist. Mr Middleton also completed a national tour of Britain with the Roussland Male Voice Choir of St Petersburg, Russia, which was widely acclaimed. He is presently on the staff at the Royal Northern College of Music where he regularly gives "Master Classes".
David Golightly (See also David's other compositions and recordings on this site)
 Photo: David Golightly
David Golightly studied composition with Richard Steinitz at Huddersfield University. Born in Co. Durham and now based in Cheshire, a number of his compositions have been commissioned by eminent performers, including "Moods" for Roger Heaton, "Rites of Passage" and "The St Petersburg Mass" for the Roussland Soglasie Male Voice Choir of St Petersburg. In addition David has composed prolifically for the theatre and film documentaries. David is chairman of The North West Composers' Association and has recently been appointed "Chairman Elect" for the Composers' Guild of Great Britain. He is also a member of the P.R.S. Advisory Group, established to assist the company review its public performance and broadcast policy.
Jeremy Pike
 Photo: Jeremy Pike
Jeremy Pike was born in 1955. He studied music at King's College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music before becoming a pupil of Henry Gorecki on a Polish Government Composition Scholarship. He has directed the electro-acoustic studios of Warwick University and Royal Academy of Music, and is currently Head of Composition and Contemporary Music at Cheetham's School of Music in Manchester. His music, which includes orchestral, choral and chamber works, has been widely performed.
Joanna Treasure
 Photo: Joanna Treasure
Jo's talent was recognised in 1975 at Cheltenham Ladies' College when she won first prize for her SATB setting of "Solomon Grundy". She studied medicine at Cambridge and Guys' and has continued to juggle her musical development with a demanding career in Pathology. She directs a chamber choir specialising in early and contemporary music, including her own "Cantico Delle Creature', and is a regular participant in the Canford Composer's Workshop. She studies with Malcolm Singer in London.
Stuart Scott
 Photo: Stuart Scott
Stuart Scott was born in Stretford, Manchester in 1949 and studied composition with Lennox Berkeley. At 21 he was a prize winner at the Stroud Festival International Composers' Competition and his music has been performed and broadcast in the UK, USA, Germany, Scandinavia and Japan. He now lives in Sale, Cheshire and his output includes opera, orchestral pieces, music for brass ensemble and a string quartet, as well as many solo pieces, duos and songs.
Margaret Wegener
 Photo: Margaret Wegener
Born in London in 1920, Margaret developed an early gift for composing tunes for her father, a good amateur pianist, to play, but had no formal musical training. She later qualified as a music teacher, eventually becoming Director of Music at several schools. Since retiring from full-time teaching, she devotes her time to her compositions, numbering over100, which include orchestral, vocal, instrumental and choral works and music for schools.
Colin Bayliss
 Photo Colin bayliss
Colin Bayliss is the Managing Director of Da Capo Music Ltd. He was born in 1948 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Self-taught as a composer, he studied History, followed by a post-graduate Diploma in Librarianship at London University. As well as writing music himself, he has also published annotated catalogues of the music of Anthony Hedges and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.


Recorded at ASC Recording, Macclesfield. Cheshire. December 1996
Engineered by Jeremy Pike and Steve Plews
Mixed by Steve Plews
Produced by David Golightly, Jeremy Pike and Steve Plews
Executive Producer David Golightly
Sleeve Design Tim Walton

This page was last updated on 6 July, 2005