john marlow rhys


A short note on stylistic features in these works

Sonata Aperta is a large-scale virtuoso work for solo piano and ensemble inspired by the Double Concerto of Elliot Carter. The following Interaction is equally demanding and reflects the influence of Xenakis in its uncompromising sonorities and complexities.

Volte-Face, (ironically, in view of the title), is a change of direction, its musical language owing much to the expressionistic phases of Schoenberg and Berg.

Four Musicians was written (courtesy of the idiosyncratic ways of the commissioning system), in only seven days. It features spaced out brass instruments and virtuosic cello writing.

Takt is a tense, highly wrought work which, at its climax, uses transformed features of virtuoso tabla playing in the Indian classical music tradition, in this case the piano taking on the role of the tabla player set against the repeated patterns of the other instruments.

Capriccio opens up a new range of expression and is influenced by the visual artist Tanguely and the music of Kagel, among other things.

Pala d'Oro is one of a series of works exploring musical processes which could be classified as minimalist, but there is a continual change and development taking place all the time in this personal interpretation of the style. Similar observations apply to the piano piece Cadeau and Zauberkries der Nacht

Some recent orchestral works Ondeggiamento and Incontri feature simple, broad forms filled with delicate, complex detail.

Together with the theatre music (Orange tree in Richmond, Greenwich Theatre, Palace Theatre, Watford) and the numerous works, small and large, for student performances, this composer's work shows a wide variety of stylistic manner.

J.M.R. (April, 2000)