An album of classical compositions by Rory Ridley-Duff (co-founder of Protos) with hints of jazz and rock influences.
Sample track: Renaissance (click to load into your media player, or right-click to save to disk).
Arranged and recorded in the early 1990s, this collection of piano, chamber and orchestral music is Rory's first foray into classical music composition. With hints of jazz (Suite, Interrogation) and rock influences in percussion scoring (Space), A Question of Expression is a compelling exploration of what happens musicians raised on progressive rock spread their wings into the classical world.
1 Renaissance - Piano (0:58)
This crisp lively piano piece celebrates Rory's moods upon meeting his future wife, Caroline.
2 Suite for Piano, Marimba and Vibraphone (9:24)
This composition in three movements was premiered in 1987 by Sarah Walker (BBC presenter, Young Musician of the Year) and Martin Pyne (Jazz Percussionist / Composer). The opening jazz piano movement gives way to a lyrical section (second movement) and classical finale (upbeat third movement).
3 Space - Orchestra (11:32)
Rory's second orchestral composition was premiered in 1985, at the Picture Gallery, Royal Holloway College. A musical landscape of floating through Space, this orchestral arrangement was penned in 1986 and recorded in 1992. The impressive and moving finale draws on Rory's experience of writing classical rock music.
4 Prelude for String Trio (3:26)
This short work for piano, violin and cello explores the chromatic scale to produce an unusual and listenable work rooted in alternative tonality.
5 A Question of Expression - Piano (3:44)
The album's title track is one of Rory's most mature piano works. Premiered by him in 1986 at Royal Holloway College Music Department, it was later published in The Anthology of Contempory Music by Richard Churches. The slow first and third movements evokes French influences, while the upbeat second movement has a more classical feel. This is its first appearance on CD.
6 When the Pain is Over - Piano (3:26)
Premiered by Rory at Chichester College (Music and Drama Department) in 1982, this homage to french composer Satie evokes the numbness and sadness of human loss.
7 Interrogation - Piano (5:32)
Premiered by Clare Byrne in the Picture Gallery, Royal Holloway College in 1984, this literary inspired work depicts the interrogation scene from Harold Pinter's 'The Birthday Party'. A work for the virtuoso only, truly demanding of the pianist.
8 Triads in Arms - Orchestra (11:23)
Premiered by the Royal Holloway Symphony Orchestra in 1986, this tongue-in-cheek exploration of tonality paves a path through musical history (in reverse) to celebrate the 'triad' - the basic unit underpinning tonal music. From its growling atonal openings, by the second section the triads are sufficiently confident to make a minimalist statement. In section three, they take control and offer up the highs, lows and soft melodies of the romantic era. In the finale, a fanfare heralds a fugue to celebrate the baroque and classical traditions. All are drawn together for a rousing climax.
Catalogue Number: NHM004
Release Date: 18th October 2006
Playing Time: 49 minutes
Artists: Rory Ridley-Duff
Composers: Rory Ridley-Duff