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Piano Tutor Duncan Honeybourne records new pieces at Turner Sims

Published: 28 March 2018
return of the nightingales record

University of Southampton piano tutor Duncan Honeybourne recorded two cycles of piano pieces written for him by composer Sadie Harrison in the Turner Sims Concert Hall during April 2017, and these were released on the Prima Facie label in November on Return of the Nightingales, a conspectus of Harrison's solo piano music. 

Return of the Nightingales is a celebration of four pianists with whom Sadie has collaborated extensively over the past decade — Duncan Honeybourne, Philippa Harrison, Ian Pace and Renée Reznek. As the majority of the pieces were premiered by these pianists, the disc is a showcase not just of Sadie's music but also of each performer — from Duncan Honeybourne's sumptuously expressive renditions of Lunae (2012) and Shadows (2013) to the hyper-virtuosity of Ian Pace in the title work; from the quirky vivacity of Philippa Harrison in Four Jazz Portraits (2014) to Renée Reznek's highly coloured interpretation of Par-feshani-ye 'eshq (2013-14). As such, the disc offers a unique insight into a range of contemporary piano performances, an unusual contribution where the emphasis is as much on the players as the composer herself.

The disc has received excellent reviews over the past few months:

“A disc that offers much of interest for inquiring listeners and players alike. Not that those latter will find it easy to match the technical finesse and interpretative insight of the pianists featured here.”
– Gramophone (Feb 2018)

“Duncan Honeybourne has the lion's share... with fine accounts of the two large sets, Lunae (2012) and Shadows (2013).”
– Musical Opinion (April 2018)

"Medieval chant, Dowland, Debussy and Messiaen are just some of the influences on the gentle Lunae, superbly performed by Duncan Honeybourne, who also captures the gnomic essences of Shadows, Harrison's tribute to composer William Baines... An important disc."  (*****5 stars) 
– International Piano (March 2018)

“Honeybourne sensitively and sensuously illuminates the tender, intimate lyricism”
– The Cross-Eyed Pianist

“A box of delights, wrapped up in a musical package”
– Sounds Magazine

Duncan returns to the Turner Sims in the summer to record the complete piano works of John Joubert.


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