Heroes and Mentors
Jed Distler's Second Week as Q2's Pianist-in-Residence
Monday, October 11, 2010
OK, you've asked for it. With the Beatles on one end and Beethoven on the other, I expose my musical DNA on Monday, October 11's show (hear it streaming 24/7 above!). As a Sarah Lawrence undergrad in the '70s (I later taught at the college from 1978 until 2002), I absorbed Bob Helps's Zen-like piano posture, paid close attention to Stanley Cowell, lapped up David Maslanka's music history class, got the "tonal green light" from David Del Tredici (he dedicated Opposites Attract to me) and landed a composer/pianist role model and lifelong friend in Frederic Rzewski.
If that wasn't enough, transcribing Art Tatum led to me work all-too-briefly with Bill Evans, just months before he died.
For the remainder of the week, I'll be lending my fingers to crafting playlists for Hammered! Here's what you have in store:
Tuesday, October 12: Shuffle Mode II
More mixing, matching, mingling, and messing with your programmatic expectations from my favorite iPod selections!
Wednesday, October 13: The Hard Stuff
I can't decide if Beethoven's thorny, totally mad Hammerklavier Sonata Op. 106 is my nemesis or my best friend when it comes to the most rewarding thorny music that I've tackled (not that Fink, Rakowski, or Hartmann are chopped liver, either!). Here's a hard-to-find recording from 1986 where Peter Serkin knocks the Hammerklavier off of its pedestal, and plays it fast and loose, with nervous energy and jazzy daring.
Thursday, October 14: Shall We Dance?
The piano music that grabs my attention the most tends to be dance oriented, and that's more or less today's underlying theme.
Friday, October 15: John McGuire's 48
Today I'd like to share an out-of-print recording of the most mesmerizing large-scale two-piano piece I know. Although John McGuire composed his 48 Varaitions with great rigor and forethought, its soothing, undulating qualities are positively addictive, and once you start listening, you'll never want this music to end. Unfortunately it does after 55 minutes.