HAVPCD380 – Twelve Astrological preludes for piano
Roderick Elms studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and he appears in concerts and recordings with most of Britain’s major orchestras both as a principal keyboard player and as a soloist. He has broadcast regularly for the BBC since the late seventies on Radio 3 as well as for Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night. For several years he was London pianist to the eminent cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. His solo recordings include, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), the Warsaw Concerto (a Classic FM favourite) the Spellbound Concerto and da Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain.
Other recordings include Frank Martin’s Ballade for Piano and Orchestra with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and music of Spolianski and Charles Williams (including The Dream of Olwen) with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Film scores on which he has performed include Aliens, Dangerous Liaisons and the epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy. A career highlight came in 2009 when he was invited to be guest celeste soloist for the BBC’s CBeebies programme ZingZillas – much to the amusement of his young son! As an organist, he has recorded an extensive list for EMI and Chandos which includes all the major oratorios of Elgar and the award-winning recording of Britten’s War Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra. An album of organ music by Percy Whitlock was released by Herald in 2010.
Moody Moves started life in 2005 when I wrote the movement Funky Fugato as a short encore for members of the Aurora Ensemble – in that particular recital just oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano. I revisited the piece early in 2011 with the intention of expanding it for the whole ensemble and the consequence of that dabbling was a full-length concert piece of six movements for piano and wind quintet. The opening movement, Amorous Antiphon, starts in a fantasia-like style featuring all the instruments and leads directly to Precocious Prelude – a lively syncopated allegro based on a minimalist figure heard at the outset. I had originally been thinking of this movement as the basis of a second concert piece for piano-duet and orchestra but the opening wind figure seemed to lend itself to a more wind-based piece.
Retro Romance begins with a sweeping horn solo which is developed by all the instruments in turn before a central section featuring the cor anglais. Funky Fugato is in a quasi-contrapuntal style in which the instruments imitate each other at various intervals and in a plethora of time signatures and syncopated rhythms.