Thomas, Philip (2016) Abstruse Bagatelles: Music for solo piano by Christopher Fox. In: Perspectives on the Music of Christopher Fox: Straight lines in broken times. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 128-148. ISBN 9781472428240

Christopher Fox’s music, whilst diverse not only across the chronology of compositions but also between one work and the next, is at the same time demonstrative of a rigorously investigative compositional mind. The piano music illustrates this well. He has composed at least 16 works specifically for piano, stretching from 1978 to the present. Many others are for keyboard instrument or feature piano as a prominent player within an ensemble.

Two of the major solo works, both composed for the author, form the focus of this study and serve to illustrate the disciplined and uncompromising nature of the composer. Fox is undoubtedly one of the most original, inquisitive and bold composers working in the UK at the time of writing.
The first part examines L'ascenseur, one of Fox's most systematic and rigorous works. The compositional processes will be presented in detail and how these relate to Fox's wider structural concerns.
The second large part of the discussion will focus upon Republican Bagatelles, which demonstrates superbly Fox’s craftsmanship and compositional methods, as the technicalities of merging music by Ives and Beethoven are readily apparent but the compositional vision and dramatic urges guide the techniques in unpredictable and brilliant ways.

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