Matthew-Walker has been an influential part of the classical recording industry for more than 50 years, running marketing and publicity departments for leading labels CBS and RCA, and as editor of Musical Opinion magazine since 2009.
A Bad Night in Los Angeles features first recordings of eight works composed between 1980 and 2021, including the title track – “disco dance music for the piano” – one of Three American Pictures offering vibrant impressions of the City of Angels and New York.
The earliest, substantial work, Fantasy-Sonata: Hamlet, dedicated to Hans Keller, is “neither programmatic nor a character portrait”, says the composer who describes it as “a metaphysical work”. The Evening of Memory is a contemplative piece inspired by a comment by the American General Douglas MacArthur, Nocturne and Aubade two contrasting miniatures for left-hand, Battledore, a five-part suite for children.
Completing the disc are tributes to other composers: The Fields are White Already “a contemplation for solo piano in memoriam John McCabe”; Fantasy on a Theme from Malcolm Arnold built around the older composer’s name; and Divertimento on a Theme of Mozart “an aphoristic patchwork” for piano duet suggested by the F major Sonata (K.533)
Robert Matthew-Walker studied with Darius Milhaud, has produced more than 130 recordings and published many books, subjects ranging from Muhammad Ali and David Bowie to Rachmaninov, Havergal Brian and Grieg.
Mark Bebbington has recorded extensively for SOMM. His previous collaboration with Rebeca Omordia, The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams (SOMMCD 0164), was hailed by MusicWeb International as “spellbinding”. Gramophone declared it possessed “unremitting logic, sweep and concentration that thrill to the marrow”.
On This Recording
- I. Reflection at Midnight
- II. Toccata on three notes
- I. Break Dancing at Washington Square
- II. At Gershwin's Grave
- III. A Bad Night in Los Angeles
- Adagio in B minor, Op. 200 (2021)
- I. March
- II. Swings
- III. Running About
- IV. Boats Across the Lake
- V. Follow-my-leader
- Fantasy-Sonata: Hamlet (Piano Sonata No.3) Op. 34 (1980)
- Divertimento on a Theme of Mozart for Piano Duet, Op. 57 (1984)
- Fantasy on a Theme from Malcolm Arnold Op. 208 (2021)
- The Fields are White Already, Op. 153 (2015-21)
A contemplation for solo piano in memoriam John McCabe
Nocturne and Aubade: Two Pieces for Piano Left-Hand Op. 154 (2015)
Three American Pictures Op.157 (2016-21)
The Evening of Memory
Battledore - Five Children's Pieces, Op.95 (1989)