Martin Jones | Bruce Mahin: Préludes de Paris

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Classical: Piano solo Jazz: Progressive Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Bruce Mahin: Préludes de Paris

by Martin Jones

Bruce Mahin's 6th commercial release features British concert pianist Martin Jones performing the world premiére recording of "Préludes de Paris," crossing the classical-jazz line with an original new sound based on fourths.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prelude No. 1
2:30 $0.99
2. Prelude No. 2
2:12 $0.99
3. Prelude No. 3
2:01 $0.99
4. Prelude No. 4
1:52 $0.99
5. Prelude No. 5
3:15 $0.99
6. Prelude No. 6
3:26 $0.99
7. Prelude No. 7
2:43 $0.99
8. Prelude No. 8
1:57 $0.99
9. Prelude No. 9
3:18 $0.99
10. Prelude No. 10
2:51 $0.99
11. Prelude No. 11
3:53 $0.99
12. Prelude No. 12
2:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Martin Jones has been one of Britain’s most highly regarded solo pianists since first coming to international attention in 1968 when he received the Dame Myra Hess Award. That same year he made his London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and his New York debut at Carnegie Hall. He has since been in demand for recitals and concerto performances on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a prolific recording artist and his many discs for Nimbus Records include the complete works of 17 composers including Mendelssohn, Brahms, Debussy, Grainger, Szymanowski and many first recordings of Spanish music. He has recorded the complete piano and concerto music of Richard Rodney Bennett for Metronome Records as well as many chamber music discs. The latest issue will be the complete works of Franz Reizenstein for Lyrita Records and Roger Ducasse for Nimbus Records. Future projects include two concertos by Francis Shawand and piano works by Graham Hair.

A strong lyricism and contrapuntal rhythmic drive have remained a constant in the music of composer Bruce Mahin over the past 25 years but the sonorities have become gradually more diatonic and consonant. In his first recording, “Shadows” released in 1990 as Capstone CPS-8747, the harmonic palette is freely atonal but melodically expressive in pieces for piano, vibraphone and interactive computer, violoncello and tape, percussion and voice. His second CD “Time Chants” released in 1995 as Capstone CPS-8624, focuses on the melodic potential of music for the electronic wind instrument and interactive computer. While the electronic wind instrument mimics traditional woodwinds, the potential for expressive timbral change and the sonic diversity of electronic sounds allows sound color to reside in the forefront. In 2013, CD performances of Glasgow’s Scottish Voices were released as “Music from 3 Continents” on the Ravello label (RS-7877). In that recording, Mahin writes lyrical counterpoint for four women’s voices plus harp. Now in the release of “Préludes de Paris,” this composer presents a new system of harmony with 12 pieces exploring quartal harmonies.

About the Recording

The repertoire of instrumental “Prelude” began in the 18th-century with works by Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Sebastian Bach. These composers’ works are principally single movement, through-composed pieces based on a short musical idea. However, on close examination, it is apparent that every work extends this simple definition into a unique form different from its sisters. Perhaps this explains why composers such as Frederic Chopin and Claude Debussy spent so much time writing in this musical form. In contrast to the sonata form, preludes are melodically non-developmental. Where a sonata introduces themes with the intent to vary them as thoroughly as possible, the prelude rarely changes the initial musical ideas but works motifs through various harmonic processes. The prelude thus occupies an important status in the canon of piano music because it serves as an ideal platform for the experimentation of new ideas related to harmony.

Bach’s two books of preludes and fugues known as “The Well-Tempered Clavier” served as a vehicle for the composer’s interest in the tuning system of equal temperament, which permitted harmony to modulate into more distant keys than was possible using more traditional keyboard tunings. The prelude also allowed Bach to focus on chord progression, harmonic chromaticism, and spontaneous improvisation. Frederic Chopin and Claude Debussy used the prelude similarly, forging new paths of harmonic progression, key relations, and experimentation with new harmonies.
It is in this vein that the “Préludes de Paris” were composed. Each of the works is based on one or two melodic ideas supported by a single chord progression, which serves as the basis for harmonic variation. The “Préludes de Paris” serve as a platform for exposing the potential for a new system of harmony, devised by this composer, called “Bi-tonal Quartal Harmony.” This system constructs chords in two distinct layers: an upper layer of three notes a perfect fourth apart, and a lower layer of two notes a perfect fourth apart. The two layers set up varying degrees of dissonance. When the top notes of each layer are identical, they create a consonant sound. When the top notes of each layer are a minor second apart, they create a very dissonant sound.

Each of the 12 possible musical interval relationships between the upper notes of the two layers sets up varying degrees of consonance and dissonance. The sounds produced by these two layers are similar but distinctly different from the chords used by any other method. Bi-tonal Quartal Harmony allows minute control of consonance and dissonance, possessing rich possibilities similar to diatonic harmony. Just as important, many of the chords are distinctly different from those found in triadic harmony.

For a detailed account of Bi-tonal Quartal Harmony please follow the link: This release marks the first volume in the PnOVA American Composers Series, introducing new piano music by American composers in performances by British pianist Martin Jones.

PnOVA Recordings is the contemporary classical label of multi-media publishing company MahinMedia LLC, whose catalog includes interactive applications built for the Apple mobile devices, electronic book publications, audio recordings, and a select cadre of artists. PnOVA Recordings is dedicated to the introduction of new music, especially music written for piano, but also represents a venue for recording rising artists in the classical music genre.
All recordings use state-of-the-art digital converters capturing 96kHz 24-bit samples. Discover the complete catalog of apps, recordings and books released by MahinMedia at: Contact us at: or write to us c/o : 400 Salem Avenue, Suite 2G, Roanoke, Virginia 24016 USA

All tracks recorded 2013 at the Covington Center for the Performing Arts, Radford University in Radford, VA

Session Producer & Engineer: Bruce Mahin
Engineering Intern: Fraser Hamilton
PnOVA Records is a subsidiary of MahinMedia LLC



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