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The Red Studio

online resource
posted on 18.12.2020, 10:55 by Christopher Fox
The Red Studio, premiered by John Snijders on BBC Radio 3 on 6th January 2016

The Red Studio explores two research questions: (1) to what extent is the 19th century practise of ‘preluding’ applicable in music composed today, and (2) how might the genre of the ‘artist’s studio’ painting be transposed into music?

The Red Studio work falls into four large sections, each characterised by a different mode of pianism and each organised around a different compositional system. Each section is preceded by a short prelude or interlude which may be improvised by the pianist but the score also includes composed examples.

This juxtaposition of closed compositional systems and open, fluid connections is perhaps the work’s most striking feature. It demonstrates the difference between composition and improvisation as modes of music-making, and in effect recreating a 19th century piano recital in a condensed version for the 21st century.

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