The culmination of a long association with pianist Matthew Mills, Bagatelles represents some 30 years of piano music by British composer Bernard Hughes.
‘Contemporary Piano Soundbites’ is a collection of solo piano miniatures composed during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown and premiered by Duncan Honeybourne during April, May and June through video recitals recorded at his home. The original purpose of the project was, in Duncan’s words, “to imaginatively harness the zeitgeist of our present situation: to bring comfort and enjoyment to a large ready-made audience stuck at home, to aid musicians badly affected by the “cultural lockdown”, and to add to the contemporary repertoire, creating an artistic keepsake of this extraordinary phase in our history.”
Alongside his daily video recitals, Duncan also raised money for the Help Musicians UK Coronavirus Hardship Fund, to support musician colleagues struggling in the current situation. The project, which ranked in the top 10% of Just Giving fundraisers nationally during April 2020, has already raised well over £2000, and profits from the sale of the CD will also be donated to this charity.
The disc, recorded in July 2020 under conditions of social distancing, presents a representative selection from the online Contemporary Piano Soundbites series. It celebrates the diversity of styles embraced by a broad cross-section of professional composers working today, and for Duncan Honeybourne it was “an invigorating experience to record an entire disc of pieces which hadn’t existed less than four months earlier. Especially stimulating and exciting is the juxtaposition of several leading senior composers with some of their most gifted younger colleagues. Several young composers make their first appearances on disc.”
‘Contemporary Piano Soundbites’ will not only help musician colleagues at a time of need, it also provides a snapshot of reflections and musings by some of the finest and most distinctive composers of our time at a unique and unprecedented moment in our history.
“I hope the disc will make for a refreshing, enriching, stimulating and quirky listening experience too!” – Duncan Honeybourne
The album includes piano miniatures by Graham Fitkin, John McLeod, Sadie Harrison, Francis Pott, Luke Whitlock, and David Lancaster, amongst others, as well as pieces by young and emerging composers.
Recorded on 27th and 28th July 2020 in the Gransden Hall at Sherborne Girls School, Dorset
Released by Prima Facie Records. Now available on CD and to download/stream from 6th November 2020