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David Johnson: 12 Preludes and Fugues for solo piano


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Dr David Charles Johnson (27 October 1942 in Edinburgh – 30 March 2009 in Edinburgh) was a Scottish composer and a scholar of 18th-century Scottish music. Johnson was "an internationally recognised scholar" whose work significantly contributed to rediscovering and redefining 18th-century Scottish music within its historical context. His research focused on the music and social life of lowland Scotland during the 18th century, exploring influences, tastes, and key musical figures of the era. Johnson’s 12 Preludes and Fugues are among the few significant pieces he composed for the piano, alongside a five-minute Sonata. Written in the early-mid 1990s and published in 1995, these compositions are notable for their unique blend of sound, reminiscent of 20th-century composers like Hindemith or Prokofiev, while incorporating elements such as quotations from Bach and references to Hugh MacDiarmid's work. They also feature direct quotations of popular tunes like ‘Johnny Cope’ and ‘The Animals Went Marching Two by Two’, infused with a distinct Scottish flavour. The thematic backbone of the suite is borrowed from Aberdonian composer Shaun Dillon, using the Scots-Gaelic word bheatha, ‘life’, represented musically by the notes B-flat, B, E, A. Johnson masterfully employs this motif to form a tone row, guiding the keys across the 12 works in the suite, making his Preludes and Fugues a unique and distinguished addition to Scottish piano music.
Information
Catalogue number DDX21124
Barcode 809730112423
Release date 19/04/2024
Category
Label Divine Art
Format CD
Number of discs 1
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