Rediscovered Daniel Jones Piano Works Worth Investigating

Normally when I read about rediscovered works, they’re of some long-dead composer. But certainly, not a composer who died in 1993. After all, isn’t databasing more efficient these days? And especially for a composer as important as Daniel Jones?

Not necessarily. According to Martin Jones, when asked about writing piano music in 1972, the composer declined. He further stated that he had written very little of it at all. His “Set of Bagatelles” had been published, but nothing more.

So Martin Jones was very surprised to discover a cache of piano scores. They were tucked away in the National Library of Wales.

The works — which appear in this collection — weren’t abandoned experiments. The manuscripts were completed compositions. Several had been clearly prepared for publication. Some had performance notations in them.

Daniel Jones had dismissed them. But fortunately for us, Martin Jones didn’t (no relation, BTW). These pieces come from early in Daniel Jones’ career, but they show his compositional skill.

There are some short selections, such as his preludes. But then there are some major works, like the Sonata No. 6 in C-sharp minor. This 36-minute work shows Daniel Jones’ ability to develop and sustain complex ideas.

Martin Jones is one of those pianists who play everything very well. And here he’s playing music by someone he knew. I especially liked his performance of the sonata. Daniel Jones was a skilled pianist himself. So the music gives Martin Jones an opportunity to shine As he does.

It’s only through good fortune that early music manuscripts survive the centuries to be rediscovered. In this case, the music was waiting patiently in a climate-controlled environment. But I’m still glad someone looked through the catalog.

Daniel Jones: Rediscovered Piano Works
Martin Jones, piano
Lyrita SRD.2396
4 CD Set

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