A Shooting Star: Music by Janet Owen Thomas (PFCD063)
Performed by Simon Passmore, Jane Ford, The Goldberg Ensemble, The Bingham Quartet and Richard Casey
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Do Not Go Gentle: I. Prologo
Do Not Go Gentle: II. Lento Penserioso
Do Not Go Gentle: III. Proto-Cantus
Do Not Go Gentle: IV. Gorgia Sopra Cantus
Do Not Go Gentle: V. Double Canon
Do Not Go Gentle: VI. Epilogo
Four Preludes For Piano: I. No. 1
Four Preludes For Piano: II. No. 2
Four Preludes For Piano: III. No. 3
Four Preludes For Piano: IV. No. 4
Partita For Viola
Cantus Sur La Mode Seconde
This CD is a celebration of the composer Janet Owen Thomas, who died in 2002 at the tragically young age of 41. A Shooting Star (PFCD063) contains performances by Simon Passmore, Jane Ford, The Goldberg Ensemble, The Bingham Quartet and Richard Casey.
“The hallmark of her style is linear counterpoint” - Nicola LeFanu, The Independent
This CD includes the free fantasia Rosaces, a “spectacular example of youthful creativity and instrumental bravura” (Giles Easterbrook), written in the manner of Buxtehude. There follow six pieces for string quartet, 'Fiori Musicali' (2001), the last work that Janet heard live, at its première by the Bingham Quartet. The CD also includes works for piano: 'Preludes Book 1' (Nos.1-4) (2000); 'Echoes in a Shallow Bay', inspired by a visit to Australia; a 'teasing minature', 'Memory Gongs; Four Elements'; and a mini-cadenza, 'Alien', inspired by the film of the same name. One of her most extended yet intense works, Partita (1994-2002), for solo viola, premièred by Philip Dukes, is also included. Thomas describes her 'Cantus sur la mode seconde' (1992) for 11 strings as “a concerto grosso built around an eight-voice canon based on Messiaen's second mode of limited transposition.” After her death, the Goldberg Ensemble commissioned 'Palace of the Winds' (2004) from Anthony Gilbert, one of two works in memory of his former pupil, the other being 'Monsoon Toccata' (2013).
Janet Owen Thomas (1961-2002) leapt to prominence with the UK première of her solo organ work, Rosaces, at the 1991 BBC Proms, where she was the youngest composer involved that year. Born on Merseyside of Welsh and German parentage, her teachers included Jane Glover, Robert Saxton, Györgi Ligeti and Anthony Gilbert. She pursued a career as both composer and concert organist, and also published articles on fractals, studied music technology, and performed as a jazz pianist.