American Solo Piano

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

On this edition of Reflections from the Keyboard, David Dubal brings an All-American solo piano program to the Thanksgiving Table.

This episode dips into a great deal of American piano music in a variety of styles. From the War of Independence, Alexander Reinagle's and James Hewitt's pieces capture the patriotism our nation is so proud to hold dear.

Evoking the Civil War, we hear Louis Moreau Gottschalk's Manchega, when for an American household was not a home without its piano. Three women composers make an appearance, as well: Amy Beach, Lynn Kurtz and Ruth Crawford.

Set alongside a Samuel Barber excursion, there's small helping of America’s finest impressionist tone painter, Charles Tomlinson Griffes. And to finish things off, a small tribute for the 90th birthday of Ned Rorem, as well as two composers from the Gilded Age -  MacDowell and Gershwin.

 

Playlist

Alexander Reinagle:

Sonata in E Major: Third Movement

Stanley Waldoff

Self - Released

 

Aaron Copland:

Piano Sonata: Vivace

Leon Fleisher

Sony/Epic

 

Ruth Crawford:

Study in Mixed Accents

Joseph Bloch

CRI American Masters

 

Lynn Kurtz:

In D for Piano: Dance

Andrew Eitel

Self - Released

 

Ned Rorem:

Piano Sonata No. 2: Nocturne

Julius Katchen

Philips

 

Samuel Barber:

Excursions, Op. 20: iv. Allegro molto

Leon Bates

Rile Arts

 

Vladimir "Vernon Duke" Dukelsky:

Caprice No. 2

Scott Holden

Tantara Records

 

Charles Tomlinson Griffes:

The Night Winds from Three Tone-Pictures, Op. 5

Denver Oldham

New World Records

 

Leo Ornstein:

Arabesques, Op. 42: Echo Primitif/Primal Echo

Marthanne Verbit

Albany Records

 

James Hewitt:

Yankee Doodle with Variations

David Dubal

Self - Released

 

Louis Moreau Gottschalk:

Manchega, Etude de concert, Op. 38

Cecile Licad

Naxos

 

Edward MacDowell:

Woodland Sketches, op. 51: 1, To a wild rose

Alan Mandel

Phoenix PHCD 148

 

Amy Beach:

Fireflies

Alan Feinberg

Argo

 

Edward MacDowell:

Hexentanz

Alan Feinberg

Argo

 

George Gershwin:

Prelude II: Andante con moto e poco rubato

Oscar Levant

CBS

 

George Gershwin:

Gershwin Songbook - Swanee; I Got Rhythm

André Watts

Philips

Comments [2]

Silversalty from Brooklyn

Listening again a few of the pieces were a little too jarring for my taste. "Pungent" too. One of the more melodic ones, the piece by Lynn Kurtz, bares a strong resemblance to "Hernando's Hideaway," the tango.

Dec. 07 2013 05:22 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

You programmed a Copland piece for this program. Recently Terrance McKnight opened a program with Copland's "Quiet City," which at this point is probably my favorite Copland piece. If the piano can sing, present a transcription as soulful and possessing as the horn in Quiet City.

Also, if you could prepare 50 programs of American music, why not actually do so for .. say .. 5?

As GG might have said, 'If I could just repeat what others have done, why would I want to?' It's nice to have 20 or even 50 variations on classic European pieces but why not a real change of pace. I wish the people involved had recorded Gould's playing of "Caravan" made famous by Ellington, as they marveled at his relaxed and expansive playing as compared to Bach.

Dec. 03 2013 07:57 PM

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