Charles Owen: A 50th Birthday Celebration
Charles Owen celebrates his 50th birthday with a recital devoted to five composers all of whom took the piano and its music to new heights of imaginative genius. The twin French masters Debussy and Ravel bookend a programme with works of great creative originality. Children’s Corner was inspired by the toys and games of Debussy’s young daughter Chou Chou, while Ravel plunges listeners into a world of daring fantasy and virtuosic Gothic horror in his legendary triptych Gaspard de la Nuit. At the heart of the recital are three pieces anchored in the luminous tonality of F sharp major. Chopin’s magical Barcarolle floats upon enchanted waters as its Italianate melodies sing forth. Liszt, in his exquisite Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, paints a picture of spiritual contentedness paving the way for Messiaen in his own profound Reflections on the Baby Jesus.