One of the most prominent latter-day British minimalists, Graham Fitkin enjoys both renown in Europe and a kind of enfant terrible status in his native England, although this is gradually wearing off. Nevertheless, to know Fitkin is not necessarily to love him; blogger/composer Alex Christaki has written that Fitkin's Mesh is "quite typical of a 'contemporary' style, meaning that its capturing texture feels to well adapted to today's modern music. I also feel that once you have heard it a second hearing is unnecessary." Another English critic once commented that "if I hear Fitkin's Cud one more time I'm afraid I'm going to lose my mind."
In the compositions of Yoshihiro Kanno (b. 1953) he bases himself on three idioms: Western instrumental music, Japanese traditional instruments and computer music. Combining these various elements freely, he creates scores for Japanese instruments and computer as well as for Western and Japanese instruments. The pianist Noriko Ogawa, acclaimed for a wide-ranging discography comprising music by Mozart and Debussy to Takemitsu and Graham Fitkin, is a champion of Kanno's music, having commissioned three of the works on the present disc, the so-called 'Particle of Piano' series.
While its unpretentious cover photo and small text don't proclaim it as an important recording, Noriko Ogawa's 2012 SACD of Mozart piano sonatas is the kind of sleeper album that quietly asserts its value and convinces purely through the beauty of the music. The three piano sonatas presented here also have that kind of unassuming quality. Mozart composed them as teaching pieces, suitable for players of modest skills, yet they have become extremely popular and rank among his best loved works. Ogawa plays them with a light touch that suits their simplicity, and her interpretations of K. 330, K. 331 (famous for its Rondo alla Turca), and K. 332 are transparent and almost naïve, but for the subtlety of attack, balanced phrasing, and shaded dynamics that reveal her artistry. BIS provides nearly ideal sound quality for Ogawa, offering clean reproduction and reasonably close microphone placement that make listening effortless.
Heinz Chur was born in Essen (Germany), and for him music is a wonderful language - the language of ideas and emotions. The Piano Sonatas Nos 6 - 8 are examples of his tonal style. These sonatas were composed concurrently (e.g., the first movement of Piano Sonata No. 6 developed during the same year as the final movement of Piano Sonata No. 8), and in each case the completed sonatas were committed to writing within the space of a few days: Sonata No. 6 in 1984, Sonata No. 7 in 1985, and Sonata No. 8 in 1987…