"In choosing to call this set of 25 pieces The FitzTanner Collection, I make a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.
The FitzTanner Collection doffs its cap in the direction of this seminal ancient tome by borrowing some of the more fanciful and suggestive titles from which it is comprised, but beyond this there is no musical connection with the original pieces at all. And yet, stirred into the mix, is my fondness for melding together bygone musical styles. Hence, this album of piano pieces, pitched at the more robust intermediate pianist, combines quirky originality with older musical styles, drawing inspiration not just from Renaissance dances and fantasies, but from more elaborate Baroque and Classical styles, too. That said, the music is conceived very much with the qualities of the modern piano in mind and hence requires a good many pedal effects, dynamics and plenty of expression. What emerges is, I hope, a collection of attractive piano pieces which cheerfully bear the traces of a time when the modern piano was but a twinkle in the eye.
There is an enjoyable charisma to the Old English spellings of these pieces (as well as a healthy margin for idiosyncrasy, I might add), and to my own creations I have taken great delight in adding a few light-hearted directions, which I trust won't cause too much consternation. Not all of the Fitzwilliam titles are easily fathomed, but the playful, risqué and politically incorrect overtones are sometimes quite striking, leading me to contemplate a similarly unserious vein in my own writing. To what (or indeed, to whom) you may ask, does "Quodlings Delight" refer? I'm not sure I'd recognise a Quodling if it crawled out of my porridge (and likewise, who the eponymous Barafostus might have been is anybody's guess). Perhaps, on balance, the music is best left to speak for itself, and regardless of how many ways an old title can be reworked it will always come down to living, breathing musicians to make the music spring from behind dots on the page."