Naxos to Release Music by Robert Helps, from Spectrum Concerts Berlin


Sep 13 2011 - 12:00pm

 September 2011 release includes chamber music with piano by a "composer's composer".

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From Naxos: This recording is an exploration of Robert Helps’s ‘subtle sound world’ ( on Naxos), and his shared history with Spectrum Concerts Berlin. Highly regarded as a ‘musician’s musician’, Helps is featured as both composer and pianist. Postlude is suffused with an atmosphere of reminiscence, and the flow of ‘endless melody’ in the Piano Quartet is comparable to Scriabin. Associations with the Second Viennese School are heard in the poetic Quintet and the virtuoso Fantasy, while the two Piano Trios mark the stylistic boundaries of his career. Helps’s Shall We Dance for piano (CD 2, Track 12) was among his last recordings.

"Robert Helps is not only the pianist's pianist, and the composer's composer, he is also the pianist's composer and the composer's pianist, for, since his teen-age performance of music that was deemed unperformable, he has played incomparably: compositions which other pianists could not or would not perform. The singular pianistic mastery which he brought to these performances moulds his own writing for piano, from which pianists have discovered resources of nuance, rhythmic subtlety, dynamic control, and sound which endow their own playing with a new sensitivity and sensibility. His chamber and orchestral compositions are not pianistic transcriptions, but the fresh realization of the same awareness in these non-pianistic media. He long has been a legend in his own time and he deserves it." ---Milton Babbitt (1996)

Robert Helps ACA Composer Page