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  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 5065001825026
  • Item #: CDBY018250
  • Release Date: 11/16/2010
  • Rank: 1000000
  • This product is a special order
Price: $16.04
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Fiesta! on CD

Iain Farrington - Fiesta! This recording features four piano works of varying and disparate angles: jazzy, political, pictorial and private. It is music that aims to encompass many contrasting elements, from technical virtuosity to calm simplicity, from tunefully melodic to harshly dissonant, from lightweight fun to melancholic seriousness. Fiesta! Fiesta! Is music about celebrations and merry-making. In seven short movements, the mood is unashamedly joyous, ranging from wild excitement to intimacy. Despite the title, there are no Spanish elements in the music. It was composed and first performed in 2003. Celebration establishes the scene with it's jumpy, knock-about rhythms, and champagne-popping spirit. Lively natterings and gossipings of individuals are heard in Conversations, arguing and laughing about life. To get people on their feet, the Stride Dance launches a lively, bouncing rhythm in a Hammond organ style. A gentle Song relaxes the atmosphere before the pounding, foot-stomping rhythms of Fast Dance. As the festivities draw on, a bluesy Nocturne slackens the pace, with an improvisatory solo at the heart of the movement. Renewed energy is found in the Finale, a carefree fugue that breaks into a frantic dance. The celebrations are nearly brought to a premature conclusion by protestations from the neighbours, but this is a party that could go on and on... Mozart Variations The theme for this set of variations is Figaro's aria Non più andrai, from the end of Act One of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Figaro tells Cherubino that he will no longer be chasing girls, but will be joining the army, marching to victory. The variations are heard as one continuous piece, and exploit the threatening military nature of the aria. Composed at the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003, the work follows a path from playfulness to swaggering arrogance, through distant fanfares to violence and aggression, culminating in tolling bells and a hollow victory march. Animal Parade Animal Parade is a depiction of ten familiar animals, from the tallest to the fastest, the biggest to the nastiest. It is an affectionate caricature of wildlife, exploring the unusual characteristics of these creatures in an entertaining assortment of organ effects. The work includes an optional narration with verses for each animal by Esther Eidinow. It was composed and first performed in 2007, paired with Poulenc's Babar the Elephant. 1 - Entrance: The stage is set with a lively, rhythmic introduction, capturing a playful mood. 2 - Giraffes: A wide-ranging melody depicts the height and flexibility of the giraffe's long neck. Teetering on fragile thin legs, the piece tiptoes along gingerly. 3 - Barrel organ monkey: Raucous oom-pah off-key music is dispatched on the organ-machine with cold, grim humour. 4 - Hippopotamus: Wallowing in thick muddy water, this is the slow life of a hippo. 5 - Critics: A worthy addition to the menagerie. The music is suitably unoriginal: fatuous fanfares, sarcastic laughter and three distorted quotes from musical masterpieces that received a critical mauling at their premieres. 6 - Blue whale: The gentle heart of the whole set. From the depths of the sea a whale gently rises to the surface for air. 7 - Sparrows: Chirping and darting around the scene, the birds merrily sing to each other. 8 - Penguins: Shaking from the cold, the penguins march along, taking the occasional dive into the sea. 9 - Cheetah: With teeth showing, the cheetah embarks on a wild chase after a hapless prey. 10 - Piranhas: A tense, still atmosphere is interrupted by three bloody feasts. 11 - Alley cats: Slinky and low-down with a bluesy mood, proud cats wander the streets, tails held high. A brief encounter leaves one slightly scratched. 12 - Exit: The opening music is recalled and expanded, providing a happy conclusion to the grand show. Night Journey Night Journey was derived from a request in 2004 to compose some short, relatively simple piano pieces, from Grades 4 to 8 in standard. This grew into 24 miniatures of varying character, still restricted by the original parameters. Although quite straightforward in terms of harmonic and technical difficulty, these pieces explore a wide range of pianistic sounds and textures. The music is often highly expressive and essentially melancholic. It was written not only as a compositional challenge, but also as a way of lifting spirits. The work is loosely based on the key structure of Chopin's Preludes, progressing through each major key and it's relative minor: C major/A minor, G major/E minor, D major/B minor etc. There is also recurring and developed material in movements 1, 7, 13, 19 and 24, giving an overall shape to the work. Iain Farrington has an exceptionally busy and diverse career as a pianist, organist, composer and arranger. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London and at St John's College, Cambridge University. As a composer, Iain has written chamber, instrumental, vocal and choral works. He was a featured artist in Musical Opinion, described as 'a musician of exceptional promise and accomplishment...the melodic and harmonic aspects of his music, allied to a genuine creative character, combine to produce an output that is both modern and attractive.' Among notable successes include his suite Fiesta! Performed in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, France, Germany, and across Europe and the UK, with several recordings available. Iain has arranged and performed over one hundred diverse works, from Mozart to Gershwin. He is Arranger-in-Residence for the Aurora Orchestra. His solo piano arrangement of Elgar/Payne Symphony No.3 is published by Boosey and Hawkes, and his transcription of Elgar's Five Piano Improvisations was recently published by Novello. His chamber orchestral version of Dvorák's Rusalka was performed across the UK by English Touring Opera. Iain has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room, the Royal Opera House, and in Japan, South Africa, Jordan and all across Europe. He performed two solo organ works in the BBC Proms 2007 in the Royal Albert Hall, which the Independent described: "This was his Proms debut, and an exciting one. He's an authentic star, and deserves to have a Prom all to himself." He works with many of the country's leading singers and conductors, including Bryn Terfel, Lesley Garrett, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Colin Davis. Iain is the accompanist for the London Philharmonic Choir, working regularly with Vladimir Jurowski and Kurt Masur. He gives frequent broadcasts on BBC Radio Three and has recorded numerous CD's as accompanist and soloist. He regularly gives solo piano recitals all across the UK, with his repertoire embracing contemporary, British and light music, and his own Farrington Ensemble has performed in festivals across the UK.