• Pablo Ziffer

John Foulds - Essays in the Modes, Op. 78 for Piano Solo


John Foulds - Essays in the Modes, Op. 78


John Foulds [1880 - 1939] - Essays in the Modes, Op. 78 [1928]

I. Exotic [0:03]

II. Ingenuous [6:22]

III. Introversive [9:30]

IV. Military [15:06]

V. Strophic [17:09]

VI. Prismic [22:51]

"Certainly his major accomplishment for solo piano, some would rate this to be Foulds' single most important work. He was certainly aware of the scope of his achievement and fiddled about with this less than with almost any other of his works -- only this and the Cello Sonata were ever published in a form which met with his ultimate approval. Foulds spent much of his life investigating and exploring the musical world opened up for him by study of the modes. In this he found inevitable common ground with Busoni but also found himself in conflict with the latter. Busoni considered the modes a starting point and embraced modulation (which Foulds deliberately eschewed) as a method by which to expand this new and exciting world of sound. Foulds, on the other hand, considered the modes to be sacrosanct in and of themselves and proposed to write in them only to accentuate their "...utter purity." Of the ninety modes he identified (compared with Busoni's 113), seventy were identical to the Indian ragas which so influenced Foulds in the last twenty years of his life. Essays in the Modes started life as a grand project to write a piece in each of seventy-two modes. After some time, Foulds uncharacteristically slimmed his ambition down and the plan became for a series of six 'books' of essays, each to contain a related group of six pieces. As it tuned out, only the first book was ever completed and a seventh essay (titled Egoistic) was also finished, while sketches and fragments of a number of others survive today. This is intensely difficult but ultimately rewarding music and is a major contribution to the lexicon of twentieth century piano repertoire."

Peter Jacobs - Piano

I. Exotic

II. Ingenuous


III. Introversive

IV. Military

V. Strophic


VI. Egoistic

VII. Prismic


#JohnFoulds #PeterJacobs

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