Conlon Nancarrow – Study for Player Piano 3a (1988)

From the album Studies For Player Piano by Conlon Nancarrow, recorded on Conlon Nancarrow’s custom-altered 1927 Ampico reproducing piano at the studio of the composer in Mexico City on January 10 and 12, 1988.

 Conlon Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano is a cycle of work unique in many respects, not the least being its seeming indivisibility from itself. As the primary text of the music is a hand-punched piano roll intended to be played on specific, Ampico model player pianos, it does not lead to a wide range of options in terms of interpretation. Studies for Player Piano, stems from master tapes made in Mexico City for release on the 1750 Arch label in the 1970s and ’80s, with Nancarrow´s own specially retrofitted pianos, in Nancarrow´s studio, and with the composer himself picking tempos and working with producer Charles Amirkhanian to achieve ideal results. These recordings were considered state of the art at the time and still sound great, and can certainly be considered definitive; CDs drawing from sources made later represent the music as played back by other machines and operators. While the differences might be slight, they are still significant, particularly in regard to tempo choices, which can either make or break this music, and breaking it isn’t hard to do at all. Hearing them played back on Nancarrow´s pianos also affords an additional layer of articulation missing from many reproductions; one of Nancarrow´s pianos was fitted with metal hammers, resulting a clattery sense of attack, whereas the other had hammers covered with leather strips for a more mellow sound. Make no mistake about it: the Other Minds set truly represents what Nancarrow himself wanted you to hear when it came to his player piano music, and he did have very specific ideas about that. [source]

Conlon Nancarrow – Piano

 

url-7

Advertisements

Witold Lutosławski – Partita For Violin And Orchestra (1984 – 1988)

Partita For Violin And Orchestra was composed by Witold Lutosławski from 1984 to 1988 and was dedicated to the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. The premiere was 10 January 1990, Munich: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Witold Lutosławski.

Witold Lutosławski ( January 25, 1913 – February 7, 1994) was a Polish composer and conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades.

Through the mid-1980s, Lutosławski composed three pieces called Łańcuch (“Chain”), which refers to the way the music is constructed from contrasting strands which overlap like the links of a chain. Chain 2 was written for Anne- Sophie Mutter (commissioned by Paul Sacher), and for Mutter he also orchestrated his slightly earlier Partita for violin and piano, providing a new linking Interlude, so that when played together the Partita, Interlude and Chain 2 form his longest work. [source]

1. Allegro Giusto (4:14)
1. Ad Libitum (1:12)
3. Largo (6.23)
4. Ad Libitum (0:47)
5. Presto (3.52)

Witold Lutosławski – Conductor
Phillip Moll – Piano
Anne-Sophie Mutter  – Violin
BBC Symphony Orchestra

Witold Lutoslawski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[List of Witold Lutosławski´s complete works]

 

Paul Hindemith – Sonata for viola and piano in F major, Op.11, No.4 (1919)

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963). Hindemith is among the most significant German composers of his time. His early works are in a late romantic idiom, and he later produced expressionist works, rather in the style of early Arnold Schoenberg, before developing a leaner, contrapuntally complex style in the 1920s. This style has been described as neoclassical, but is very different from the works by Igor Stavinsky labeled with that term, owing more to the contrapuntal language of Johann Sebastian Bach and Max Reger than the Classical clarity of Mozart. [source]

1. Phantasie (3:06)
2. Thema mit Variationen (4:01)
3. Finale mit Variationen (10:09)

Kim Kaskashian – Viola
Robert Levin – Piano

From: Paul Hindemith – Kim Kashkashian – Robert Levin ‎- Sonatas For Viola And Piano And Viola Alone, released in 1988.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Mauricio Kagel – Phantasiestück (1987)

Schumann became a potent inspiration for Kagel, in terms of the highly speculative Romanticism embodied in his musical language as well as his distinctive approach to matters of form. Hence Phantasiestück, composed during 1987–88 and which exists in versions for flute and piano or as accompanied by an instrumental ensemble. The ‘solo’ version sets off with a capering manner with flute and piano breezily exchanging rhythmic gestures. There follows a slower section in which the dialogue is more plaintive, followed by a martial passage with the flute blowing into and the pianist tapping on the outside of their respective instruments. Next comes a more conventional yet highly appealing dialogue where the composer’s trademark wit can be heard at its keenest, gradually thinning out to leave quietly syncopated gestures on piano to which the flute responds with a reticence that, in its turn, makes way for an increasingly hectic interplay that breaks off to leave the reticent gestures much as before. A brief passage of virtual breathing from the flute leads into the final section, in which the two instruments equably pursue each other in a melody such as could almost have a folk or traditional source, the music gradually taking on an expressive poise that sees the work conclude in a mood of barely ruffled calm. [Source]







Conlon Nancarrow – Piece for Ligeti (1988)

If the truth be told, Mr. Nancarrow, born in Texarkana, Ark., but a citizen of Mexico for the last 30 years, has not always been easy to find. He is a gentle and grandfatherly figure; his reputation is that of the mystery man of modern music whose isolation is as much a result of choice as of circumstance. Even now, as acclaim finally descends on him for his pioneering work on the player piano, he remains much better known to his fellow musicians than to the concertgoing public.

The composer and conductor Gyorgy Ligeti, for instance, calls Mr. Nancarrow’s work ”the greatest discovery since Webern and Ives.” Since first coming across some of Mr. Nancarrow’s piano pieces in a Paris record store in 1980, he has vigorously championed Mr. Nancarrow’s jagged and elaborately contrapuntal music, both from the podium and in print.

”His music is so utterly original, enjoyable, constructive and at the same time emotional,” Mr. Ligeti has written. ”For me, it is the best music by any living composer of today.”

Mr. Nancarrow also has acquired, much to his surprise, something of a cult following in the pop music world. The guitarist and composer Frank Zappa, whose own work reflects Mr. Nancarrow’s fondness for dense textures and multiple interweaving melodic lines, says he has been an ardent admirer since 1967, when he was introduced to the composer’s work by Jimi Hendrix’s recording engineer.

Mr. Zappa said that what initially struck him about Mr. Nancarrow’s work was ”that the mechanics of design are often more important than their relation to normal harmonic concepts.” With the passage of time, he added, his appreciation for Mr. Nancarrow’s ”unique spiritual build and expression of character, his willingness to take chances,” has also grown. ”In terms of individualism, I think he ranks up there with Webern, Stravinsky, Varese and Schoenberg,” Mr. Zappa said in a telephone interview from his home in Los Angeles. ”There’s been nothing like him before or after.” [Source]