[1996; First Prize, Second S.S.Prokofiev
International Composing Competition, Moscow, 1997]
Duration: ca 6'35"
This work features on a Golomb/ CBC recording by the Russian/ Canadian virtuoso Alexander Tselyakov. The Toccata is published by Fand Music Press.
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Toccata for Piano Solo
various conscious allusions in this piece. His own Toccata opus 11, with its flattened seventh in early and menacing opposition to a dogged
tonic pedal, finds a harmonic echo as the present work gets into its stride (a
semitone lower). There follow some oblique references to the outer movements of
Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata and the finale of his Eighth. A ‘fugato’
secondary episode acknowledges also the Lesghinka (itself
a tribute to Balakirev’s Islamey)
from the Etudes d’Exécution Transcendante by
The Toccata is
enigmatically and ominously insistent, rather than (until its closing stages)
merely headlong, and seeks to respond to the strict application of its title by
exploring many contrasting types of touch and tone, rather than to hammer away
-with diminishing returns -at only one. The piece was widely performed in Russia before receiving its U.K. première from the American virtuoso Frederic Chiu at the 1999 ‘Pianoworks’ Festival in London. Its most recent advocates include the respectively British and Russian-Canadian pianists, Julian Hellaby and Alexander Tselyakov [see www.tselyakov.com ]. Tselyakov has performed it to acclaim across the U.S.A. and Canada, on Canadian Radio and B.B.C. Radio 3 and at London’s Wigmore Hall.
© Francis Pott 2004
2005, Mark Lehman
Musical Opinion, Robert
Pott's Toccata received a great response from the audience and the composer himself was on stage at the of the piece creating an unforgettable moment. This piece drew extraordinary material from familiar territory and was by no means out of place in this context, especially when performed with a virtuosity and a sensitivity that showed Tselyakov to be a rare artist.
Earlier, we had enjoyed an unusual coincidence, with Tchaikovsky's Variations in
F major, Opus 19 No 6, which Leslie Howard had included in his Wigmore programme
some weeks before and which Tselyakov played with
Review of Toccata for piano solo
, Bruce Hodges
Francis Pott, another composer who seems to admire Prokofiev, gives us a plunging Toccata that seems right up Tselyakov’s alley, and judging from the audience response, this is one of the program’s highlights.