Fanfare USA, 2000

‘I am no less enchanted by these concertos…having lived with them for more than 12 years. The Piano Concerto grabs you right away with hammered, rising chords…That is just the first of the concerto’s 13 sections that take listeners through fascinating worlds of sounds and styles. The second section is a piano solo that is soon underscored by dirge-like horns en masse taking the theme through three brief sections of variations. Yet all the while a tension is mounting. But just as a movie-reviewer doesn’t give away the ending I will only tease you with a mention that the rest of the work includes such delights as a piano-and-tuned-percussion duet, commentary by bongo-like soft drums, and at one point an upright piano playing a classical rag. By now you should have the idea: Dickinson is enamoured of the simultaneous presentation of different types of music – what he dubs style-modulation. Sort of Ivesian but not as direct. Dickinson’s Piano Concerto is mostly slow, yet its 24 minutes pass all too quickly for involved ears.

Stephen Ellis, Fanfare, May/June 2000

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