Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Graham Lynch: Undiscovered Islands

Graham LYNCH (b.1957) White Book 1 (piano) (2001) Mediterranean (flute and piano) (2007/8) Petenera (piano) (2005) Moon Cycle (solo flute) (2002/6) White Book 2 (piano) (2007/8) Three Tangos (flute and piano) (2003/7) Mark Tanner (piano); Gillian Poznansky (flute) PRIORY PRCD1024
I was recently sent this fine CD to review by the composer. It made an immediate appeal to me. I listened to the entire album twice, although even on the first hearing I felt comfortable with most of the works presented. The reason, I guess is that the music passes the two fundamental tests: is the music original and is there an obvious trajectory of tradition that enables the listener to relate the pieces to something that is already familiar? The answers to both these questions is ‘yes’. The first thing to be said on the originality aspect is that this music is both demanding and interesting. The stylistic parameters lead to a sense of variety that is well under control. Lynch’s music is not like, say, Einaudi, whose every piece seems to sound the same.

Before I had a chat with the composer, I had decided that there were certain influences (conscious or apparent) at work in Lynch’s music - these included Debussy, Messiaen and for my money Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji. Perhaps there were even hints of Fred Delius. However the composer told me that the Japanese composer Takemitusu and the Latin-American Astor Piazzolla also had an important contribution to his music. But as I have often said, listening to music is not about ‘hunt the composer’, unless the composer we are considering has been unable to develop and synthesise their own style”.

The presentation of the CD is excellent [...] a good essay introduces the composer and his music. There follows a more detailed analysis of each piece along with further comments from the performers. The middle pages of the booklet have a collection of photographs that reflect the mood and subject matter of a number of the pieces. The playing by both the pianist and the flautist sounds excellent […] this is an impressive CD that is well within the tradition of British (or Western) music. All the works are approachable, but like all good music continues to reveal their secrets with repeated hearings.

Please read the full review of Graham Lynch’s CD at MusicWeb International

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