The Piano Music Of Lionel Sainsbury
Lionel Sainsbury composer, pianist
SUNLIGHT AND STORMS, composer and pianist Lionel Sainsbury’s debut solo release on Navona Records, illustrates emotions from the peaceful to the tempestuous, and many more besides. A retrospective of the composer’s piano music, spanning almost 20 years of his career, the album ranges from tangos to toccatas, character pieces to ostinatos. Two large-scale collections, Five Tangos and Ten Moments Musicaux, portray several dimensions of Sainsbury’s compositional style, encompassing lively dance numbers, haunting and dark passages, jazzy, Gershwinesque themes, and gently swaying rhythms. Alongside these are a virtuoso Sea Storm, and a hypnotic Incantation. Two Cuban Dances evoke the rhythmic airs of the Caribbean; the second has been performed worldwide in the composer’s own arrangement by violinist Tasmin Little. An introspective Meditation provides symmetry and resolution to the album. Throughout, Sainsbury’s dexterity and control on the piano admirably conveys the sensual textures.
Born in Wiltshire, England, Lionel Sainsbury began playing piano and composing at a young age. When he was 21, he was awarded a Mendelssohn Scholarship, providing him the opportunity to connect with composers such as Edmund Rubbra, John McCabe, and Henri Dutilleux. Sainsbury’s catalog of compositions include concertos for violin and for cello, a symphonic poem Time of the Comet, several works for strings, a substantial body of piano music, and works for violin, solo guitar, clarinet and piano, and two pianos.