Anthony Green at 60

Anthony Green

fonorum 8002 • 2006-01-27

Resurgence is a piano version of an orchestral piece and the sleeve notes intriguingly mention the original instruments that play various passages. Material from an earlier, more diatonic, work Lyric Movement is incorporated into an otherwise atonal style. The initial phrase, chorale, Lyric Movement and unusual fugue subjects (the sleeve notes draw an analogy with Franck’s Prelude, Chorale and Fugue) are all easy to recognise on their reappearances, the latter convincingly ending the piece after the chorale climax that follows the main fugue.
Although Resurgence is the longest single movement piece (16 mins), Sonata No. 3 is the largest work on the CD at 30 mins, and its five movements are linked thematically to create a organic whole. Even a short description would take a longer article, and I am still getting to grips with the plethora of themes and their transformations – this is not ‘easy’ music. Like Resurgence, it creates an overwhelming impression, not least because of the composer’s fine playing. It is good to hear this music performed with such clarity and conviction. Green’s musical ideas, ranging from themes based on the letters of dedicatee’s names, techniques of continuous variation, permutation and expansion of the intervals of melodies, and his engagement with the music of the past: fugue, passacaglia, chorale, variations and the occasional blending of tonal material into a Fiercely uncompromising style, all occur in these pieces. But it is his ability to write large convincing spans of music incorporating such a wide range of expression that most impresses me. This is real music that one feels had to be written and that demands to be listened to.
Available from fonorum: www.fonorum.com at €15 or from Anthony Green, 020 8659 4731at £10.