Jubilees: George King


George King (piano)

British pianist George King brings together a series of 21st century pieces, including the first recordings of Philip Cashian’s Ben Hartley pieces and of his own Piano Etudes. In his search for the ‘new’ in music, as a jazz and classical composer/pianist, he shares with the listener the sheer pleasure of performing these pieces, always maintaining coherence and pianistic brilliancy, and imparting the excitement of discovering great piano writing with challenging and very diverse original music.

“Part of the reason for picking the four pieces on this disc are the very different ways each of the composers create new and very pianistic works,” says King. “In his magnificent piano cycle Piano Jubilees Lindberg has created a work that harks back to the romantic klavierstücke of the 19th century. I tried to convey its dramatic sweep with Schumanesque mood swings.

“The Cashian, a group of very short, tightly wound pieces, have never been recorded before. From the fanfare style opening to the computer game-like relentlessness of the final piece, I have been confronted with superb writing that is to the point without ever feeling rushed. George Benjamin’s Shadowlines is much more epic and deliberately emotional in its scope than the other music on this disc. I feel is a true modern masterpiece. My own piano etudes were composed in 2003 and were written as very technically specific pieces for different aspects of piano playing.”

George King’s career as a classical pianist has led him to perform all over the world, including Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall, but he is also an improviser of rare quality. His stylistic range covers many musical paths, whether as a solo piano free improviser or as a member of Jah Wobble’s Modern Jazz Ensemble or in performances at the Glastonbury Festival and WOMAD. As a composer, major commissions have included Songs of the Caged Bird for jazz singer, piano and string ensemble for Manchester Jazz Festival and Manchester Camerata, and a new piece for the Apollo Saxophone Quartet. Recordings include the piano music of Edwin Roxburgh (NMC), ‘7’ with Jah Wobble (30 Hertz), and most recently a solo improvised recital Into the Light for ASC.

Listen & Purchase CD or downloads
Includes: Six Pieces after Paintings by Ben Hartley
label: Odradek Records