BBC Proms programme 1986

‘Conflicts, juxtapositions, attempted syntheses – Peter Dickinson’s work is full of them, all shook-up, all mixed-up, all jazzed up (Schubert and Edward MacDowell are among his victims!), yet always keenly imagined and meticulously reasoned and realised. His catalogue of works is not so much large as intriguingly varied. Keyboards – piano and organ – are well provided for: the Piano Concerto and Organ Concerto are major scores, the Blue Rose Variations for organ (after MacDowell) is a substantial piece, and the collection entitled Rags, Blues and Parodies is fully characteristic of his creatively personal approach to popular music…Much originality has gone into song-cycles and vocal works…London Rags [brass quintet including Patriotic Rag] is ‘all about the business of being British’ – which is, in a sense, what most of Peter Dickinson’s music is about, a quest for identity, for unity-in-diversity, order from chaos – but achieved through accepting the diversity and chaos and coming to terms with them.’.

Christopher Palmer, BBC Proms programme, 20 August 1986

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