June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Bennett, Richard Rodney (1936-2012)
Instrumentation:cl. pft.
Publisher Ref:NOV955735
One jazz pianist's tribute to another.
Price: £13.99
Skill Level:D/E
Year of Issue:2006
ISMN:none specified
ISBN:none specified
By the time he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music in London , at the age of seventeen, Richard Rodney Bennett had already written three string quartets. But the RAM did not give him the stimulus he felt he needed, so Bennett won a two year scholarship to study serialism and twelve tone techniques with Pierre Boulez in Paris. Little of his music from this period survives, and his enthusiasm for the dry starkness of serialism was tempered by his inclination towards a more lyrical style of writing which can be heard in his piano concerto of 1968 and the guitar concerto written for Julian Bream in 1970. At the same time, Bennett was writing or contributing to film scores - over fifty of them including the Oscar nominated soundtracks to 'Far from the Madding Crowd' (1967), 'Nicholas and Alexandra' (1971) and 'Murder on the Orient Express' (1974), and he is recognized as one of the more distinguished film composers of his time. As well as that, Richard Rodney Bennett pursued a successful career as a jazz pianist and singer, working with performers such as Cleo Laine, Annie Ross, Marion Montgomery and Claire Martin and his sessions in the foyer of the Algonquin Hotel in New York became almost legendary.

Shirley Horn (1934-2005) was an American jazz singer and pianist. Richard Rodney Bennett's Ballad in her memory was published in the year after she died having been commissioned by the clarinettist and teacher Nigel Hinson, who gave the world premiere on 28th May 2008 in Nottingham, accompanied by the pianist Nick Oliver. The ninety-four bar piece is worked around rising semiquaver runs which alternate with more lyrical passages and lead via two bars 'fortissimo' to a 'quasi cadenza' at bar 32. After ten or so bars marked 'agitato', the music returns to the elegiac mood of the opening to end the piece which could aptly be titled 'Elegy' to describe its prevailing mood.

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