Recent releases include 4 Piano Pieces, Variations and Gigue Machine for piano and Beyond the White Hand for Guitar.
4 Piano Pieces
These four short pieces, though simple on the surface, all give glimpses in miniature of the technical ideas which characterise Birtwistle’s larger works.
Variations and Gigue Machine
The title hints at the work’s starting point; the “Golden Mountain” is the Goldberg, and it was from Bach’s monumental set of variations that Birtwistle got the idea of linking a series of short, self-contained episodes into a more substantial musical whole. Variations is introspective and essentially a slow movement, though one with flashes of virtuoso brilliance.
Beyond the White Hand
This substantial addition to the advanced solo guitar repertoire reflects and expands upon an earlier miniature from 2007: Guitar and White Hand, Birtwistle’s first piece for the instrument. Both pieces draw artistic inspiration from the artist Pablo Picasso.