Peter Robert Nagle

Six Studies

for solo piano

duration: 15 minutes

Six Studies
Six Hours in Two Minutes – Portrait of Nothing – Study in Blue – Fractured Melody with Integral Background – A Short Fall into Infinity – "One measures a circle, beginning anywhere"

These short pieces, the first in an ongoing series, were written at various times and places between 1991 and 1998. They are not studies in a technical sense (although they do require a formidable technique on the part of the pianist) but rather explorations of timbre, processes, and the nature of the instrument. An analogy could be drawn with the way that a painter might produce studies as a way of working on ideas that may or may not become part of a larger work. Of the individual pieces little need be said, beyond that the titles are in no way programmatic, merely suggestions as to the right approach to the music, and that the title of No. 6 is a quotation from Lo! By Charles Fort, the philosophical implications of which resonate through all the studies, and indeed most of my music.

Peter Robert Nagle was born in Birmingham, England in 1970. He started composing in his early teens, and among early performances had a symphony performed by the Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra. He went on to study composition at Sheffield University with David Harold Cox. In 1985 he was shortlisted for the Yorkshire & Humberside Young Composers’ Award at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

However it was in 1986, when he was shortlisted for the same award for a second time, that he made his first notable impact, when his Nocturne was the subject of a heated debate initiated by Michael Finnissy, with whom he subsequently took lessons. He has also had several works shortlisted by the SPNM, which programmed his Five movements for String Quartet at the 1998 Bath Festival in a workshop with the Duke Quartet. His more recent music has grown from a desire to break free from the moribund avant-garde tradition. This has resulted in a more direct, pared-down style, which is evident in such works as the Symphony-ritual What will survive of us is love and the string orchestra piece Infinite Breathing, written for the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra, which is due to give the first performance during next year’s season. He currently lives near London.

Further information: [email protected]

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