A CD of Robert Saxton’s piano music, recorded by pianist Clare Hammond, will be released by Toccata Classics in March 2018, and will include Hortus Musicae, Book 1 (2013) and Hortus Musicae,  Book 2 (2016), published by UYMP. Both works are dedicated to Hammond and she has written a fascinating introductory blog to the album.  As well as describing the works on the recording in more detail, Hammond speaks of a most successful and harmonious professional collaboration with Robert Saxton since she first met him, when playing his Chacony for left hand, six years ago.  During these years Hammond has given the premieres, besides a number of further performances, of the Hortus Musicae cycles.   

Hortus Musicae, Book 1, commissioned by Ian Ritchie and the City of London Festival with support from the John S Cohen Foundation, was first performed by Hammond at the Church of St Mary le Bow in June 2013.  The Presteigne Festival of August 2016, at which Saxton was composer-in-residence, featured Hammond premiering Hortus Musicae, Book 2, thanks to support from the RVW Trust.  Following the premiere of Book 2, in a touching gesture, Saxton wrote a Lullaby for Hammond’s daughter.   Hammond concludes: ‘The warmth, affection and generosity of this music makes it a fitting postlude to a disc that documents a very special creative collaboration, and one that I hope will continue for many years.’

(26 Jan 2018)

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