Pianist David Breitman writes of his new release of Beethoven music for piano and cello: “I first became interested in historical keyboards as a piano student in Boston in the 1970s. Boston was then, and is still, an early music centre, and I had frequent opportunities to hear renaissance and baroque ensembles in concert. I eventually decided to take some harpsichord lessons with Robert Hill, freshly returned from Amsterdam where he had been studying with Gustav Leonhardt."
Athens-born and Munich-based composer Konstantia Gourzi makes her ECM New Series label debut. “What historical voices commingle in the current idiom of a composer whose cultural roots lie in the birthplace of rhetoric, but who emigrated to take a musical apprenticeship in European constructivism?” asks Ingrid Allwardt in the liner notes.
The fifteen ‘miniatures’ of this modestly-titled recording include new music vignettes, composed and improvised, by Italian pianist Glauco Venier. This is Venier’s first solo album for ECM, following three albums with Norma Winstone and Klaus Gesing. Miniatures is a quiet and thoughtful disc, in which solo piano is augmented by subtle, discreet percussion. In addition to his primary instrument, Glauco plays gongs, cymbals and bells, the lightly-struck metals creating an attractive ambience, at times like wind-chimes in the breeze. Miniatures was recorded at Lugano’s RSI studio and produced by Manfred Eicher.
Features all the songs from the album. Piano/vocal arrangements with chord symbols. Includes Pigs On The Wing (One), Dogs,Pigs (Three Different Ones), Sheep, and Pigs On The Wing (Two) and more.
“Beethoven’s five sonatas for piano and cello show in a nutshell the same evolution that the 32 piano sonatas show. You have this wonderful young lion Beethoven in the opus 5 sonatas, you have the opus 69, the A major, which stands in the middle of his life, and then you have these wonderful two works, opus 102, which are at the gates of the late style, the last phase. And these are in a way experimental works, but fully crystallized.”
American Midwest-born composer Easley Blackwood achieved international attention through his work in microtonality, but sustained his reputation through two periods of more conservative composition. His experiments in use of a 19-note, evenly tempered scale remain significant, even after his settling on a musical language that pre-dates the twentieth century. His four decades at the University of Chicago afforded him a base from which he was able to refine his structural ideas and train another generation of American composers. Blackwood also achieved acclaim as a pianist in both his own works and those of his contemporaries…….From Allmusic