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Kenneth Leighton

Publisher: Novello & Co

Six Studies (1969)
Novello & Co Ltd
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
18 Minutes

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Programme Note
Kenneth Leighton Six Studies (1969)
Kenneth Leighton: Six Studies (Study-Variations) Op. 56
Adagio molto
Allegro molto e secco, molto ritmico
Adagio molto, misterioso ma molto expressivo
Allegro leggiero e capriccioso
Allegro molto, nervoso
Presto con bravura

The Six Studies (Study-Variations) Op. 56, written during 1968-69, were first performed by Colin Kingsley in the Freemason's Hall, Edinburgh, in 1972. It is one of several sets of variations which Leighton wrote for the piano. The variations are based on chord formations of four notes outlined in the opening bars. Each of the six movements explores some particular aspect of technique and texture and, whether in the stabbing insistence of the second and sixth movements, the bell-like intonations of the third or the capriciousness of the fourth, Leighton maintains an instinctive idiomatic ease throughout.

Score sample

  • Ensemble
    Choir of St Paul's Cathedral
    Stephen Hough
  • Soloist(s)
    Angela Brownridge
His [Kenneth Leighton's] piano music is notable for its deep understanding of keyboard technique, its vigorous rhythmic drive (often with suggestions of jazz), its variety of harmonic effects, and its exciting virtuosity. …[this] work can be fruitefully listened to as a set of études, related to each other by matters of colour, texture, and motivic gesture that one can intuit in a concertrated performance. This music has a sureness of intention about it, and a rightness of expression, which grasp the listener's consciousness.
Jonathan Saville, San Diego Reader,3/13/2003
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