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Julian Cochran | Extracts from Romanian Dances, Animation Suite and Mazurkas

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Classical: Piano solo Classical: Contemporary Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Extracts from Romanian Dances, Animation Suite and Mazurkas

by Julian Cochran

Intelligent and charming piano works of one of the most remarkable British composers.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Russian Toccata
2:23 $1.69
2. Prelude No. 2
2:12 $1.69
3. Romanian Dance No. 2
2:25 $1.69
4. Romanian Dance No. 3
2:49 $1.69
5. Romanian Dance No. 4
2:35 $1.69
6. Mazurka No. 2
4:53 $1.69
7. Mazurka No. 3
3:47 $1.69
8. Animation Suite No. 1 (Tin Sentinel)
1:42 $1.69
9. Animation Suite No. 4 (Wooden Dolls)
3:25 $1.69
10. Maelstrom
4:20 $1.69
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Cochran’s Russian Toccata was written in 1996 and titled symbolically for the stylistic impression that Russian music was making upon the composer at that time. Cochran’s works preceding the Toccata demonstrated greater concentration upon economic use of material and careful attention to rhythmic invention. Works following the Toccata, however, showed a rise of melodic spontaneity and stronger contrasts in tone. The Russian Toccata thus remains an important bridge in Cochran’s body of work and provides an interesting opening on this CD.

The first eight Preludes were written between the years 1994 and 2010 and correspondingly vary considerably in style and complexity with the later Preludes being large self sufficient works. The second Prelude included on this CD is one of the most delicate in the Prelude collection and is among Cochran’s earliest piano works.

The highly colorful five Romanian Dances were written between the years 2004 and 2006. The first two dances were composed with the accordion rather than the piano; Cochran was performing Romanian folk music in public concerts at this time. The first, fourth and fifth Romanian Dances demonstrate inventive rhythms and most of the dances use a raised 4th within a minor scale. The third Romanian Dance simulates the cimbalom (hammered dulcimer) with the left hand, first with upward and downward glissando strokes and later percussively.

The fourth Romanian Dance, along with Tin Sentinel, makes use of the scale consisting of alternating tones and semi-tones. Cochran had independently discovered this scale using guitar, naming it the “Chain Scale”, and subsequently mastered its use in a variety of works; other examples include the first movement of the first piano sonata and the second movement of the violin and oboe trio, Artemis. The first description of the scale however dates back to Persian traditional music in the 7th century AD.

Cochran responded to the great international success of the first Mazurka by writing the second and third Mazurkas. Five Mazurkas were eventually written, each sharing an aesthetic central to Cochran and each suitable for dance arrangements.

The Animation Suite is collection of four pieces intended to be capricious and evocative of childhood and have become popular pieces in the concert hall. Wooden Dolls clearly tells a tale of five Russian Matreshki of different sizes communicating with each other.

The graver impressionistic work Maelstrom depicts a swirling force within the deep ocean that consumes vessels that pass nearby. As the Maelstrom’s spirit rises the utilized range of the piano widens with swirling whole-tone scales until at the culminating point the Maelstrom has consumed everything in its sight, slowly diminishing and eventually sinking beneath the surface.



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