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Daniel Becker
Piano Recital in the Fresh Series, Purcell Room, London, 8 March 2006

Radulescu Piano Sonata No.4, Op.92 (like a well… older than God)
Debussy Préludes [Selection]
Hesketh Poetic Conceits [World premiere]
Cowie Four Preludes [World premiere]
Messiaen Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus [Selection]
Tanguy Piano Sonata No.2 [UK premiere]

Winner of the British Contemporary Piano Competition 2003, and notable PLG Young Musician, Daniel Becker impressed in his full length recital with his relaxed authority, absence of any distracting mannerisms and his confidence which transmitted to the audience,.


The recital was a balanced mixture of a type one might wish to hear more often. He seemed to have taken into account the difficult acoustics of the Purcell Room, giving us music which relied upon timbre and resonances under the lid. This was particularly so for the most interesting of the novelties, the 4th Sonata of Horatiu Radulescu, its movements boasting typically grandiose titles, and supported by inscrutable notes. The first movement "trumpets of the eternal" has a colin in canon in three simultaneoust tempi. There are many passages where you are invited to listen as all the sounds fade. The second movement uses "the first 17 simulated partials of a fundamental pitch"... & the third movement "music ... older than music" has "30 seconds of music followed by 30 seconds of resonance and gradual decay".


Becker has a Radulescu CD in preparation; good luck to him! (See also Ian Pace Mystics).


Kenneth Hesketh's new Poetic Conceits were fresh and concise, and with engaging piano-writing, but EricTanguy's athletic sonata seemed to be more a case of busi-ness than real content (it reminded me of Dutilleux's early Sonata, but far less engaging).


Edward Cowie has completed 24 Preludes in all the keys, an 80 mins work to be premiered later this year. Daniel Becker played four of them by way of preview; nature studies which look to be pianistic and grateful to play. In these times when intégrales seem to be de rigeur, it was good for a change to have a selection from that major work as a foretaste, and a chosen four of the Debussy Preludes. Especially satisfying were four of Messiaen's Vingt Regards; it is hard to maintain full concentration through all twenty of them!


A recital to remember and a name to mark for future appearances.

© Peter Grahame Woolf