Gwilym Simcock has carved out a career as one of the most gifted pianists and imaginative composers on the European scene. The Briton moves effortlessly between jazz and classical music, with a ‘harmonic sophistication and subtle dovetailing of musical traditions’. Gwilym has been hailed as a pianist of ‘exceptional’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘dazzling’ ability, and his music has been widely acclaimed as ‘engaging, exciting, often unexpected, melodically enthralling, complex yet hugely accessible’, and above all ‘wonderfully optimistic’.
Gwilym’s influences are wide ranging, from jazz legends including Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Jaco Pastorius, to classical composers including Maurice Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, Béla Bartók and Mark-Anthony Turnage. In 2017, Gwilym toured with Pat Metheny, Linda Oh and Antonio Sanchez promoting Metheny’s Real Book album. Although principally a jazz artist, Gwilym has composed numerous works for larger Classical ensemble that combine through-composed elements with improvisation, creating a sound that is distinctive and very much his own.
Julian Joseph presents Gwilym Simcock’s jazz influenced version of Debussy’s Children’s Corner Suite specially arranged for piano, saxophone and string quartet:
Children’s Corner, L. 119, is a 6-movement suite for solo piano by Claude Debussy. It was published by Durand in 1908, and was first performed by Harold Bauer in Paris on 18 December that year. In 1911, an orchestration by André Caplet was premiered and subsequently published. A typical performance of the suite lasts roughly 15 minutes.
Debussy composed Children’s Corner between 1906 and 1908. He dedicated the suite to his daughter, Claude-Emma (known as “Chou-Chou”), who was born on 30 October 1905 in Paris. She is described as a lively and friendly child who was adored by her father. She was three years old when he dedicated the suite to her in 1908. The dedication reads: “A ma chère petite Chouchou, avec les tendres excuses de son Père pour ce qui va suivre. C. D.” (To my dear little Chouchou, with tender apologies from her father for what follows).
The suite was published by Durand in 1908, and was given its world première in Paris by Harold Bauer on 18 December that year. In 1911, an orchestration of the work by Debussy’s friend André Caplet received its premiere, and was subsequently published. A typical performance of the suite lasts roughly 15 minutes. (by wikipedia)
Another little masterpiece of Gwilym Simcock !
Recorded live at the BBC Studios, Salford, UK;
March 24, 2018. Very good BBC Radio 3 “Jazz Line-Up” broadcast
Rob Buckland (saxophone)
Francesca Gilbert (viola)
Lucy McKay (violin)
Rachel Shakespeare (cello)
Gwilym Simcock (piano)
Simmy Singh (violin)
01. Intro 8.45
Children’s Corner Suite:
02. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum 4.23
03. Jimbo’s Lullaby 5.29
04. Talk 7.25
05. Serenade For The Doll 4.24
06. The Snow is Dancing 5.13
07. Talk 3.02
08. The Little Shepherd/Golliwog’s Cakewalk 13.56
09. Talk 1.19
10. Deux Conversations avec Monsieur Croche Pt 1 5.31
11. Deux Conversations avec Monsieur Croche Pt 2 6.46
Music composed by Claude Debussy & Gwilym Simcock