“If ‘preparing’ a piano was, according to Berio, like ‘drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa’ (and doing this is in bad taste, at least for Berio and King, so forget Dadaism), what George King’s album Jubilees shows is that there are compositions for piano that do not require more mechanisms than those of the instrument itself. Let’s be honest: the beginning of the twentieth century and the present have been very generous with offering piano scores that are almost untouchable/ impossible to play (not because of virtuosity, but because of wealth of junk and annotations that are bordering on insanity), but through these four composers it becomes clear that not only is it possible to follow a line of ‘playable’ pianistic literature, but also ‘audible’.
Lindberg in his pieces has Debussy and Chopin in mind without camouflaging the virtuosic writing demanded by an instrument he knows so well: his pieces are a sort of purification process, requiring careful listening to reach catharsis. Benjamin is denoted by the fascination of Messiaen’s harmony, with hidden, contrasting structures and surprising characters; the calm at the first and fifth piece against the aggressiveness of the second and the fourth, the playful third and the final piece with clear influences of the French master. Cashian experiments with what is already a classic; the dialogue between painting and music in a set of parts recreated in the paintings of Ben Hartley; some gouaches on cardboard of scenes of local customs with a certain naïve touch. Special music? Why not. But aware of where its inspiration comes from. In the case of George King and his studies, the references of classical music, jazz and improvisational style are mingled. The last piece (number six) requires great technical skill (certainly not impossible), that turns out to be trickster; the repeated notes and the rhythmic games of mad speed, asymmetric and accurate at the same time, bring reminiscences of Ligeti and leave the listener excited and captivated. A luxurious finale. A record showing that the piano (pure) is far from being exhausted. Check it out for yourself. I assure you that it is worth it.”