Brian Inglis ‘Living Stones’


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Although his main focus has tended to rest with vocal, choral or stage projects, German-born composer Brian Inglis brings together on this collection all his piano solo works to date, magnificently interpreted by Gabriel Keen and Christopher Scobie. These pieces were written between 1992 and 2014 are all inspired in some way by love (human or divine, fictional or real) and were brought together in a single volume for publication by Composers Edition in 2015. ‘Wedding’ was inspired by a video fragment of Inglis' parents’ wedding. The touching ‘Kärleks- Vals’ is a love- waltz dedicated to the composer’s partner. A range of piano textures and techniques are deployed for the two- part structured ‘Piano Sonata’ from Chopin influences to change-ringing. ‘Living Stones’ was inspired by the precious stones with which the walls of the celestial Jerusalem are described as being built in Revelations 21. ‘Passacaglia’ was originally written for harpsichord as part of incidental music for a production of Christopher Hampton’s play ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ in Durham in 1992. And finally the ‘Concerto for Piano Solo’ is a virtuoso tour-de-force homage to Charles-Valentin Alkan. Inglis studied music at the University of Durham, and composition at City University, London, receiving an MA in 1993 (along with the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers’ Prize), and a PhD (supported by a major scholarship from the British Academy) in 1999. Brian first came to public attention as a composer when his ‘Responsory’ – setting words by St Hildegard of Bingen (about whom he has also written an opera) – was performed at the 1992 Huddersfield Festival. Since then Brian’s music has been heard at many other festivals and venues nationally and internationally. From 2003 to 2007 Brian was a member of the electro-indie band Hicks Milligan-Prophecy - signed to Atomicduster Records - whose performances included support slots for The Fall and Alabama 3 and festival appearances in the UK (Secret Garden Party) and Sweden (I Kärlekens Namn). A senior lecturer at Middlesex University, Brian specialises in creative and analytical topics.
  1. Wedding 3:18
  2. Kärleks-Vals 2:16
  3. Piano Sonata 10:25
  4. Living Stones 2:23
  5. Passacaglia 3:25
  6. Concerto for Piano Solo (homage to Alkan) 22:00
Credits: Piano: Gabriel Keen - Christopher Scobie Recorded: between 2014 and 2017 at Middlesex University & Last Studio 8 Engineers: David Clements & Lucinda Gallant Also available as downloads: Brian Inglis - Living Stones
  1. John Hall

    ‘wedding’, inspired by a ciné film of the wedding of the composer’s parents, is based on church bell changes, higher faster
    ringing for the right hand and slower lower for the left. ‘kärleks-vals’… is relatively tuneful with more brittle percussive upper
    leaps for the right hand.
    The ‘piano sonata’ is well described in the accompanying programme note. The first movement is ‘a kaleidoscopic montage of
    different ideas before settling down into a more lyrical theme’, in the second Inglis mentions ‘a pointillistic development’ very
    much so, with sprightly staccato playing and then in the finale ‘a toccata-like quasi-cadenza’ brings back the energetic spirit of
    the opening movement.
    ‘living stones’ sounds brittle and shiny like the jewels it describes before moving on to softer vaporous playing. ‘passacaglia’
    marries together an early music form and its spirit along with unashamed modernism and a concentration on ornamentation.
    The ‘concerto for piano solo (homage to Alkan)’ [demands] a virtuoso performer and in Gabriel Keen it certainly gets that.
    Inglis’s tendency towards the idea of quick-change montage is here too and in the opening movement upper trills and then the
    cavernous rumblings of lower trills play an important role in the music. Remember of course that this is an ‘homage’ and not an
    imitation. The music is very modern and very much the composer’s own. It would certainly be of interest for aspiring young
    pianists hoping to expand their abilities. (Alan Cooper, British Music Society, February 2019

  2. John Hall

    The Perfect Soundtrack – Deep and beautiful, I find this album to be perfect for when I paint or when travelling. It is sublime and transporting, 5 stars (Galaxian Punk, on

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