for pianoduration: 5'00"
published by: Composers Edition
An early version of this piece was composed in 1977. It was substantially rewritten and somewhat ‘pianistically’ expanded four years later, and its first performance was given in Cambridge on 26th November 1981 by Andrew Lowe-Watson, its dedicatee. Minor final revisions were made in 2014.
‘One of those composers who seldom tests boundaries, preferring to turn back in search of roads less taken’, is how Francis Pott describes himself. In other words, conservative, or even ‘derrière-garde’. To which I reply: who cares? For Pott’s piano music communicates warmth, beauty, sophistication and heartfelt expression. It falls easily and memorably both on the ear and (presumably) on Jeremy Filsell’s expertly caressing fingers.
Scherzo-Notturno begins with seemingly innocuous pentatonic arpeggios that soon bump into harmonies one never saw coming. Towards the end, softer, more introspective sequences navigate darker, more brooding waters.
…In short, the myriad attractions of Pott’s palpable musical gifts belie the modest and sometimes self-deprecating persona he depicts in his extensive booklet notes.
Jed Distler, Gramophone, November 2019
Pott’s music may not be at the cutting edge of radicalism, but displays idiomatic sensitivity, exquisite craftsmanship and often touching memorability. Pitch centres and Romantic gestures are never far away, but without any sense of cliché or pastiche. …There is something timeless yet of its time about Pott’s writing which makes this music strikingly individual. Pianists in search of a challenge that is never off-putting for listeners will welcome the bold conception and sweeping declamatory gestures, as well as its wide range of characterisation. A significant achievement worth exploring.
Murray McLachlan, International Piano magazine, February 2020