SOMM Recordings announces the perfect escape from Lockdown Blues with a collection of appealing piano miniatures compiled and performed by Peter Dickinson to chase all your cares away.
Lockdown Blues includes soothing masterpieces by Erik Satie (Trois Gnossiennes, Trois Gymnopédies), Francis Poulenc (Bal fantôme, Pastourelle) and Edward MacDowell (To a Wild Rose), alongside Eugene Goossens’ melancholic Lament for a Departed Doll and Samuel Barber’s valedictory Canzonetta. There is whimsy in George Gershwin’s Three-Quarter Blues (familiar to British audiences as the theme to radio and television’s After Henry) and Who Cares? from the musical Of Thee I Sing.
Of interest are 12 iconic jazz tunes by Duke Ellington. Heard here in their original sheet-music versions, they are pure Ellington, the product of a sophisticated composer. Among featured classic songs are Solitude, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Mood Indigo and It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing).
In his introduction, renowned broadcaster and writer Humphrey Burton describes Lockdown Blues as ‘a delightful hour of discovery’, hailing the Ellington selections as ‘a real find that will surely be much anthologised long after Lockdown has been forgotten’.
The disc is completed by three pieces by Dickinson – the titular Lockdown Blues, Freda’s Blues and Blue Rose, a take on MacDowell’s To a Wild Rose – together with Constant Lambert’s Elegiac Blues, Lennox Berkeley’s Prelude VI and John Cage’s Satie-influenced In a Landscape.
Peter Dickinson’s career as a pianist has largely been in recitals, broadcasts and recordings with his sister, mezzo Meriel Dickinson, and he has worked with many other performers.
Dickinson’s Paraphrase II is included on Nathan Williamson’s 20th-century British piano music collection, Colour and Light (SOMMCD 0196) and was praised by the British Music Society as ‘a Theme with six hugely contrasting variations exploring the outer edges of tonality in a brilliant, structurally refined way’.
On This Recording
Peter Dickinson (b.1934)
- Freda’s Blues Edward MacDowell (1860-1908)
- To a Wild Rose Peter Dickinson
- Blue Rose Constant Lambert (1905-51)
- Elegiac Blues Peter Dickinson
- Lockdown Blues Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
- Nocturne in C minor, ‘Bal fantôme’ Samuel Barber (1910-81)
- Canzonetta (arr. Peter Dickinson)* Lennox Berkeley (1903-81)
- Andante George Gershwin (1898-1937)
- Three-Quarter Blues (Irish Waltz) Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
- Pastourelle Erik Satie (1866-1925)
- I. Lent
- II. Avec étonnement
- III. Lent George Gershwin
- Who Cares? Eugene Goossens (1893-1962)
- Lament for a Departed Doll Erik Satie
- I. Lent et douloureux
- II. Lent et triste
- III. Lent et grave Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington (1899-1974)
- It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)
- Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
- Lost in Meditation
- I Never Felt This Way Before
- Sophisticated Lady
- In a Sentimental Mood
- Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me
- Mood Indigo
- Day Dream
- Prelude to a Kiss John Cage (1912-92)
- In a Landscape
Woodland Sketches, Op.51 No.1
Huit Nocturnes, Fp56
Six Preludes, Op.23 No.6
Twelve Melodies arr. Peter Dickinson*
“Another attractive release from this ever-enterprising label… The effects of the pandemic have led to a plethora of solo piano albums and this, with the Ellington and its relaxing selection, rates highly among them.” —Peter Burt, London Light Music
“Peter Dickinson’s superb piano playing, and artistry has produced an album of (mostly) soothing pieces, with more than a hint of jazz and blues.… The liner notes for this new CD are ideal. … often cool and always captivating. It should be savoured” —John France, MusicWeb International