Piano Music
 
 
Click on work titles
for details
approximate
durations
26'
10'
7'
9'
5'
17'
6'
5'
 
 
.......Twelve Preludes
TWELVE PRELUDES - PLEASE CLICK on NUMBERS. All Preludes, apart from No.2 are sound samplers of between 20 - 60 seconds long.
 

"… immediately enjoyable in their contrasting moods and rhythms… there were hints of Debussy, of the strumming of flamenco guitars, even of haunting blues…"
Cheltenham & Gloucester Echo

"… a voyage of discovery for the audience… an important contribution to the instrument’s repertoire, and a splendid highlight to the evening"
Bath Chronicle

The Twelve Preludes were first performed at St. John’s Smith Square by the pianist Jack Gibbons. Gibbons has been a notable exponent of the composer's piano music, having premiered two other major works: Andalusian Fantasy and South American Suite, as well as the Two Cuban Dances.

The Preludes have also been championed by the pianist Jeremy Filsell, and broadcast in the composer’s own recording on Classic FM, and in the USA on FTCU (Texas) and WDAV (North Carolina).

"… improvisatory exercises in piano sonorities, richly varied… one senses something Scriabinesque…"
Colin Scott Sutherland, British Music Society

"… the grandeur of Sainsbury's writing is extremely impressive (try the opening and closing preludes)… the twelfth is ultra-romantic, insistent… it has something of the drastic, dark, pulsing energy of Rachmaninov's Etudes-Tableaux…"
Rob Barnett, British Music Society

Prelude No.10 has featured in a novel series of concert programmes - the Sixty Seconds Project - by American pianist Guy Livingston (sixty pieces, each lasting under sixty seconds, by sixty different composers). Sainsbury's Prelude was amongst those singled out by Pierre Gervasoni in Le Monde, and broadcast on France-Musique in 2001.

   
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........Andalusian Fantasy
Andalusian Fantasy
 

A virtuoso work, steeped in the world of the flamencos of Andalucia; the brilliance of the guitar playing, the haunting laments of the singers, and the electrifying rhythms of the dancers are all evoked in a spectacular kaleidoscope of southern Mediterranean sound:

"… Sainsbury seems to have assimilated the soul of Spanish flamenco…"
Record Box, www.mvdaily.com

"… Surprise, surprise… we were transported to a world of ‘sol y sombra’… vigorous, demonic energy in a tumult of rhythms and runs…"
Oxford Times, 2000
(following a performance given by the composer at St. John's College, Oxford)


"… a highly charged, evocative sound world of flamenco guitar, singing and dancing… a world of fiery passion."
EPTA Journal (after Sainsbury's performance at the 2001 EPTA conference in Oxford's Jacqueline du Pré Music Building)

   
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........Nocturne
Nocturne
 

An intense, 'Romantic', and highly pianistic piece, first performed by the composer at a private concert in London in 1999.

A dark-hued work, by turns lyrical and brooding, it opens with an atmospheric passage in bare chords, played by the left hand alone, gradually building to a powerful climax:

"… dark, rhapsodic… incandescent…"
British Music Society

"… a homage to Chopin and Debussy"
Music & Vision

   
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........Cuban Fantasy
Cuban Fantasy
 

Cuban Fantasy was first broadcast in the composer’s own performance on BBC Radio 3 in 2002.

The opening theme is carefree and songlike, but the music gradually takes on a more reflective, even hypnotic character. As the earlier material reappears the writing becomes ever more virtuoso, propelling the work to a sparkling conclusion

"… immediately appealing rhythms and melodies… compelling, warm-blooded… with darker-hued nocturnal episodes, redolent of nights in gardens where one can almost smell the heady perfume of exotic blooms…"
British Music Society

 
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........Sea Storm
 

Written to a private commission, this evocative, highly atmospheric piece was first performed by the composer at a concert of his own work at St. John’s College, Oxford in 2000.

   
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........South American Suite
Seven Samples from the South American Suite
Passeio (Portuguese for a promenade or stroll)
Saudade (a word implying a sense of nostalgia or yearning)
Rumba
Canção (song)
Recuerdos de España
Escuridão (darkness)
Bacchanale
 

A seven-movement Suite drawing its inspiration from the music of South America, particularly Brazil, exemplified in Passeio (Portuguese for a promenade or stroll); Saudade (a word implying a sense of nostalgia or yearning); Canção (song); and Escuridão (darkness). Rumba exploits the syncopated dance rhythm of Cuba, while Recuerdos de España harks back to the mother countries of Spain and Portugal, with a central section strongly echoing the influence of the Moors. The Suite ends with a flamboyant Bacchanale.

"… a work of contrasts, from the slow and gentle Canção, with its wonderfully laid-back tempo, to the energetic Recuerdos de España with its shifting moods, and from the rich and mysterious Escuridão to the final Bacchanale."
Record Box, www.mvdaily.com, 2002

"… a pot-pourri of dance rhythms, opening with a genial Promenade whose melody lingers long in the mind. Saudade and Rumba have a melancholy air, but are followed by a love song and a thoroughly virtuosic evocation of Spain… brilliant florid decoration… with the orgiastic Bacchanale which concludes, this set is colourful enough to win many friends."
British Music Society, 1999

   
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........Incantation
 


A virtuoso work with a strong eastern flavour; it opens with a plaintive theme over a gently undulating rhythm, though with an underlying sense of unease. The middle section brings a faster tempo, gradually building to a furious climax. In the aftermath the opening material returns, later intensified by a closely-woven counterpoint.

   
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........Two Cuban Dances
 
These two essentially melodic pieces in Cuban rhythm have proved to be amongst Sainsbury's most popular compositions. The second Dance exists in incarnations for violin and piano and for string orchestra. There is also an arrangement of both pieces for piano duet.
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