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  • chrisdumigan

Lincoln Brady : Four Seasons and Finale :

Lincoln Brady

Set in five movements, this is a most imaginative and engrossing set of pieces all written as the title page says ‘in a neo- Impressionistic style’. So immediately you start playing you are surrounded by a Debussyesque harmonic world, but just different enough from actual Debussy so that it does not appear to be a straight copy. This of course means that chords and harmonic passages are unusual in their shape and so a great deal of care needs to be taken, but it is really worth it!

The opening Shining Summer is marked Luminoso e Intenso, and is a fascinating mix of time signatures, 3 / 4 , 7/8, 2/4, 4/4, 9/8, 2/4, 5/8, and 2/2 that manages to sound utterly natural, and not forced. It begins on a chord of (from bottom to top) of an E, A#, F#, and G# with an arpeggio rocking feel underneath long notes above. It manages to be very visual in its sound world and utterly captivating from the very start. An enigmatic final bar leads into Colours of Autumn which again is a mixture of several time signatures and is an arpeggio driven idea that rocks around through all these various times signatures managing to sound enigmatic and mysterious as it does. Again the music is evasive but keeps the player interested, and the movement suddenly builds to a section of chords mixed with a bass note that dies away to a long chord at the end.

Winter Skies is marked Espressivo and begins in two voices in 4/4 before adding a third a little way in, and then a fourth with long notes held and offbeat notes repeating in between. A second section of 3/2 continues the rhythmic off beat idea, topped now by long held chords that continue til the very end where the offbeat rocking theme, carries on into the coda where a slightly unusual chord closes it.

Butterflies in Springtime is Leggero e delicato and flies around in quavers over a mixture of time signatures again and moving around the whole fingerboard in various positions as it does.

The last movement, called Enchanted Evening – Finale is marked Tranquillo e Molto Sostenuto and has some a rising motif of three pairs of sevenths in a row that then fall and rise before moving to a new set that continue that idea for some time. Larger chords eventually intervene still continuing that rocking up – down rhythm that the movement began with. This goes through the movement until finally two pairs of notes based around the interval of a fourth take to the coda and 2 F#s close the work

I loved this piece from start to finish. Nothing in this sound world is what you might be expecting to see, but it is beautifully written and really does keep you occupied through its five movements and as such I hope that it gets the recognition it truly deserves.

Chris Dumigan

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