Yet it was Kenneth Hesketh's Poetic Conceits (2005) that otherwise stole the show. Without having sacrificed the finesse that made his early ensemble pieces so alluring, Hesketh here distils a keen motivic continuity that is audibly sustained over the five movements. The limpid yet restive motion of ‘Cold Pastoral’ and the brittle gestures of ‘Epigraph’ follow the stark writing of ‘Epigram’, then the freewheeling interplay of 'Mad Pursuits' is capped by the technical and expressive synthesis that is 'Epitaph'. An individual, intriguing and successful way to effect a large-scale structure – with piano-writing that consistently holds the attention, yet without drawing attention to itself as such.
8 March 2006
The Classical Source
Richard Whitehouse
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