Orchids: Six Pieces for Solo Piano

Genre: Keyboard piano

Description: A cycle of six solos for piano, especially written for a number of leading pianists
Duration: 41 minutes
Date: 1990-2002

Programme Note

A series of works for solo piano, the exotic floral image of the series title suggesting common patterns which underlie gradual changes in the music. Each is a variegated single movement form in which the sections fold into each other, like waves or petals, disturbing and interrupting the surface polyphony.

Orchids is a sequence of six pieces for solo piano which evolved between 1990 and 2002. In each movement the floral patterns of the title are reflected in gradual transformations in the music. The most delicate of the series, the fourth, is followed by a strenuous moto perpetuo and the set concludes with a sharply dissonant piece that resolves calmly. Considering each piece was written for, and dedicated to, a different pianist, Orchids makes a remarkably unified and coherent entity whose scope and diversity add up to one of the composer’s most ambitious achievements.
— Paul Conway, Tempo, August 2013