An album of modern classical works performed by German pianist Rolf Hind, originally released on CD (FACD 256) by the Factory Classical label in 1989.
This solo debut is a tour de force of challenging 20th century composition, beginning with the dazzling cross-cut planes of Ligeti and continuing through Oliver Messiaen, Elliott Carter and Liverpudlian composer and label mainstay Steve Martland.
"I'd had a conventional training as a classical pianist with all the standards, but pretty soon gravitated to working on new and recent music," Hind told writer Stuart Huggett. "I'd never heard of Factory but I played pieces I felt really comfortable with and loved. I liked the challenge, as well as the opportunity to work with living composers, some of whom were big and colourful characters."
Steve Martland's 1982 piece Kgakala is the most interesting piece here for the lay listener, with Hind's left hand sending out rippling clutches of bass notes that could have emanated from the pulsing analogue synth banks of the early Human League or Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. "Steve's piece is hard," Hind agrees, "but no more so than a lot of music written for piano."
Intelligently sequenced, the rapid clashes of the initial Ligeti pieces flow imperceptibly from composer to composer, the energy emptying out into the leisurely ambience of the Messiaen and Carter pieces. 256 is one of the very best albums in the entire Factory Classical series.
1. Etudes Book 1: Desordre
2. Etudes Book 1: Cordes vides
3. Etudes Book 1: Touches bloquees
4. Etudes Book 1: Fanfares
5. Etudes Book 1: Arc-en-ciel
6. Etudes Book 1: Automne a Varsovie
8. Le courlis cendre
9. Piano Sonata: Maestoso
10. Piano Sonata: Andante
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