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A Bad Night in Los Angeles
SOMM 0662 (SOMM Recordings, CD)
FIRST RELEASE (10 February 2023)
Playing time: 75'00"
Booklet pages: 12
© 2023 SOMM Recordings
Main country of recording: United Kingdom
Reviewer: Keith Bramich
Review of A Bad Night in Los Angeles published on 4 May 2023
Mark Bebbington, piano
Rebeca Omordia, piano (track 13)
Music by Robert Matthew-Walker (born 1939)
A Bad Night in Los Angeles is a disc of music for solo piano and piano duet by Robert Matthew-Walker, with Mark Bebbington partnered by Rebeca Omordia. Matthew-Walker has been an influential part of the classical recording industry for more than fifty years, running marketing and publicity departments for leading labels CBS and RCA, and as editor of Musical Opinion magazine since 2009. A Bad Night in Los Angeles features first recordings of eight works composed between 1980 and 2021, including the title track - 'disco dance music for the piano' - one of Three American Pictures offering vibrant impressions of the City of Angels and New York. The earliest, substantial work, Fantasy-Sonata: Hamlet, Matthew-Walker's Third Piano Sonata, is 'neither programmatic nor a character portrait', says the composer who describes it as 'a metaphysical work'. The Evening of Memory is a contemplative piece inspired by a comment by the American General Douglas MacArthur, Nocturne and Aubade two contrasting miniatures for left-hand, Battledore, a five-part suite for children. Completing the disc are tributes to other composers: The Fields are White Already 'a contemplation for solo piano in memoriam John McCabe'; Fantasy on a Theme from Malcolm Arnold built around the older composer's name; and Divertimento on a Theme of Mozart 'an aphoristic patchwork' for piano duet suggested by the F major Sonata (K 533).
Recorded 13-14 December 2021 at The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d’Abernon, UK.