Early Piano Works (PFV001)
Compositions by Peter Longworth performed by Simon Conning
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This recording is the first in the Prima Facie 'Vignette' series of download / streaming-only releases by contemporary composers. It features early compositions for solo piano by the young British composer, Peter Longworth.
Image 'The Night Fisher' by Sarah Young
1. The Night Fisher for Solo Piano (2010)
"The Night Fisher is a minuet that I wrote as a musical response to a print of the same name by the artist, Sarah Young. Her work struck me both as a result of its direct beauty and its timeless quality, and perhaps this was the reason behind my decision to model my own piece upon an old musical form. The practice of looking to pre-existing forms as the basis for new works was one long upheld by my compositional idol, Maurice Ravel, and so I paid homage to him in this piece, utilizing the structure of his Menuet from Le tombeau de Couperin." Peter Longworth
2. Sonata "Scorsese" for Solo Piano (2010)
"This piece was inspired by Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning picture, The Departed. In the movie, two characters from similar backgrounds infiltrate opposing organisations (the police and the mafia) as double agents. Rather than looking to illustrate the two-sided nature of both men, I was more interested in “cutting” my composition like a film: beginning phrases in unexpected places, as if moving from scene to scene. Outbursts of aggressive material are intended to represent the sudden and realistic acts violence shown in both The Departed and in other films by Scorsese, whilst the harmonic language of the music is intended to be (at times) slightly reminiscent of the scores of Bernhard Herrmann, who worked on Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. The exposition and development sections of Sonata “Scorsese” look to capture the tension and nervous energy of the two men in The Departed as they operate in constant fear of being revealed for what they are. A love triangle in the film – between the two men and a police psychiatrist – is then depicted in a jazz-influenced passage which precedes a brief recapitulation in the edgy style of the opening." Peter Longworth
Simon Conning and Peter Longworth
Recorded at St Elizabeth’s Church, Ashley, Cheshire on the 13th of July
2023, using a Bösendorfer piano.
Pianist: Simon Conning
Engineer: Steve Plews
Producer: Steve Plews
Cover Image: 'The Night Fisher' by Sarah Young
Download the digital booklet
Described as “dazzlingly-atmospheric” (the Glasgow Herald), Peter Longworth’s music has been performed in North America, Japan, and throughout Europe, as well as in UK venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Cadogan Hall, Kings Place, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Ensembles who have commissioned, performed, or commercially recorded his work include the London Mozart Players, the Orchestra of Opera North, the Brno Philharmonic, the Edinburgh Quartet, the Hebrides Ensemble, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, and the New Conductors Orchestra of New York City.
An alumnus of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Composers Programme and the RSNO Composers Hub, Peter studied composition with Mark-Anthony Turnage at the Royal College of Music and with Matthew King at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A finalist in the 2014 Keuris Composers Contest and the 2015 Philip Bates Composition Prize, Peter’s work often draws on his strong affinity with Italian culture for inspiration. Peter has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama since 2018.
Simon Conning began his studies with Marjorie Kelly in Macclesfield, then continued at the Royal Northern College of Music’s Junior Department in Manchester with Marjorie Clementi. He went on to study at the Royal College of Music in London with Yu Chun Yee. Since returning to the concert platform, Simon has appeared as soloist in concertos and recitals in North West and South East England. Simon has previously recorded “Variations”, performances of Beethoven’s variations on ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘God Save the King’, for Prima Facie Records.