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Hook, Mesh, Stub, Cud, Log, Line, Loud, Hard Fairy
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Audio CD, 11 Nov 2002
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16 January 2005
Format: Audio CD
Graham Fitkin is a composer who really should be better known. Not that that bothers me, as it's always much more exciting to discover gems for yourself. This is a double CD compilation of some early '90s recordings, some featuring the composer on piano, repackaged under the terribly grand Decca British Music Collection marque. Really, this label must be saluted for including the unstuffy Fitkin alongside both establishment modernists such as Birtwistle and establishment traditionalists such as Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Fitkin claims to take his influences from many traditions, including '80s and '90s pop, but the result is much more thrilling than you might think. My highlights are 'Hard Fairy' for sax and two pianos and 'Fervent' for solo piano, both featuring a slightly wistful yet naive mood, much more 'of its time' than the 'squeaky-door' music we know and love! Some of the other solo piano pieces are weaker, but they're so short it doesn't really matter. Highly recommended.