ASTRAL BLUE CD
"After the Grainger I listened to Astral Blue by Peter Lieuwen. This was composed in 2006 and is designed to reflect ‘the beauty of our natural earthly and cosmic environment’. Like so many composers in the past, Lieuwen has utilised the ‘B-A-C-H’ motif to generate material for this work. There is also a touch of minimalism here, although there is much traditional development too. The composer concludes his programme note by suggesting that the ‘modal and pandiatonic (marked by the use of the diatonic rather than the chromatic scale as the basic tonal material but without the classical harmonic restrictions) writing … I intended to evoke spiritually uplifting pastoral settings of atmospheric phenomena such as the soft glow of a clear morning sky or the gradual emergence of stars at twilight.’ Whether he succeeds in this poetic fusion is a matter of opinion, but this is an excellent example of a modern impressionistic piece...I enjoyed every piece, but my discovery has to be Peter Lieuwen’s imaginative and very beautiful Astral Blue."