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.



Alexander Reinagle:

Sonata in E Major: Third Movement

Stanley Waldoff

Self - Released


Aaron Copland:

Piano Sonata: Vivace

Leon Fleisher



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



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



Edward MacDowell:

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

Alan Mandel

Phoenix PHCD 148


Amy Beach:


Alan Feinberg



Edward MacDowell:


Alan Feinberg



George Gershwin:

Prelude II: Andante con moto e poco rubato

Oscar Levant



George Gershwin:

Gershwin Songbook - Swanee; I Got Rhythm

André Watts


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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