Patrick Piggott is one of those musicians who was caught up between a composing and performing career. Born in Dover in June 1915 the young Piggott showed an early promise that eventually allowed him to enroll at the Royal College of Music. As his musical journey progressed, the two facets of his creative personality vied for position, and while the two coalesced smoothly in his piano writing, the conflict between them forced him to choose the one and abandon the other.
Eventually he became a brilliant piano player and his virtuosity is legendary. Lamentably no commercial recordings were ever made and so we cannot enjoy or judge his ability on the keyboard. Although he composed several pieces of stature that achieved performance and broadcasts, none have survived in either print or record, so this issue is of inestimable value, if this composer's music is to be re-assessed.
When listening to Piggott's work, one feature is immediately recognizable, his very personal language, which is often dark and brooding. Technique is never a problem and the subtle tonal juxtapositions and pianistic figurations are constant features of his keyboard creations.
Apart from the First Sonata, all the pieces on this programme were written for Malcolm Binns, so his empathy with this music is strong and profound. His playing is of the highest order, and all the huge demands made on the soloist are dispatched with poise and precision. An extremely persuasive advert for one of Britain's practically forgotten 20th century piano masters.
Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech