Contrasts Llŷr Williams

Album info



Label: Tŷ Cerdd Records

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Llŷr Williams

Composer: Brian Hughes (1938)

Album including Album cover


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  • Brian Hughes (B. 1955): Contrasts:
  • 1Hughes: Contrasts: I. Allegro Spiritoso00:50
  • 2Hughes: Contrasts: II. In a Mechanical Style00:34
  • 3Hughes: Contrasts: III. Semplice01:11
  • 4Hughes: Contrasts: IV. Moto Perpetuo, Vivace01:00
  • 5Hughes: Contrasts: V. Grazioso01:16
  • 6Hughes: Contrasts: VI. Tranquillo02:00
  • 7Hughes: Contrasts: VII. Allegro01:04
  • Prelude and Fugue on "Louvain":
  • 8Hughes: Prelude and Fugue on "Louvain"07:17
  • Total Runtime15:12

Info for Contrasts

Llŷr Williams performs piano music by Brian Hughes.

Seven short pieces that explore piano sonorities.

In the first piece multichord pedal effects are contrasted with a quiet chordal passage. The second is an exercise in staccato - the mechanical ostinato of the left hand refusing to yield to the logical reasoning of the right. Piece 3 is a berceuse with sustained harmonies and legato melodic lines. ​

The fourth piece is a breathless dialogue between the hands that ends in quiet submission for both hands. Next we have an enigmatic, wistful mood that is troubled by distant fanfares, and ending with a quiet timpanic figure. Piece 6, marked tranquillo, is a study in stillness. ​

The finale is a moto perpetuo, relentless and percussive, interrupted in the middle by a reference to the quiet chordal passage from the first piece of the set.

​ Prelude and fugue on 'Louvain': Louvain, a centre of culture in Belgium was one of the first cities to be utterly destroyed by the Germans in the First World War in 1914. Quite a number of refugees from the city found their way to Wales, and to Rhos, and to the vestry of Capel Beth'lem. Dr Caradog Roberts, the chapel organist would have walked through the vestry on route to the organ loft, and would naturally have been very aware of the plight of these refugees.

In the final phrase of the hymn tune, the repeated notes of the soprano part coupled with chromatic, powerful harmony seems to encapsulate his empathy with the plight of the refugees; 'O Arglwydd grasol, cofia fi.' ​

Both the prelude and fugue make much use of the minor third followed by a fall of a semitone or tone which constitute the first notes of the hymn tune. In the final, slow section of the fugue, the final phrase of the hymn tune is echoed, and the enigmatic ending leave us with no consolation and many unanswered questions.

Llŷr Williams, piano

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