This CD is an unexpected surprise. George Palmer is a judge of the NSW Supreme Court who has been privately composing since his boyhood piano lessons. It was only his father’s approaching death that spurred him to organise what amounted to a tribute concert. This album and an Australian Story feature for ABC TV were the unexpected results of that concert. Palmer’s is an unusual story and he has an unusual heritage claiming a family tree that spans Anglo-Irish, Greek, Italian and Slovenian influences.
His music is also diverse with Satie, Bach and Mussorgsky noted as influences. It is not music that will set the world on fire but it is nonetheless warm and inviting and has a genuinely moving emotionality, even though this sometimes borders on the mawkish. The sparse Thredony 1: Supplication and the complex six-movement Toccata For Double String Orchestra are the most interesting pieces on the album and show a genuine musical talent. Jazz aficionados will also fall for Vocalise For Alto Sax which is beguiling in its direct appeal.