Rakowski: Winged Contraption, Persistent Memory, Piano Concerto, etc / Rose, Nonken, et al

Album Summary

>Rakowski, David : Persistent Memory
>Rakowski, David : Concerto for Piano
>Rakowski, David : Winged Contraption
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

BMOP/Sound's latest release, 'David Rakowski: Winged Contraption', is a compilation of three profound compositions by one of this generation's most visible American composers. Winged Contraption is Rakowski's playful and ebullient tribute to composer and friend Martin Boykan, and Persistent Memory provides a counterbalance with its reflective and melancholic tenor. The Piano Concerto, which draws upon the composer's own etudes, integrates teasing and surrealistic elements with the appearance of toy piano in each movement. This CD features the brilliant Marilyn Nonken, whose explosive performance, coupled with the dynamic energy of Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, reveal the creative wizardry of David Rakowski.

"By far the longest composition here, and the best, is the 2006 Piano Concerto. There are four movements that total 34 minutes. I and IV are allegros with slow introductions, II is an adagio, III a scherzo. Each movement begins quietly and tentatively, with a stuttering, repeated-note figure that acts as a "motto"; and each ends with a brief, chiming flurry on the toy piano. The keyboard writing (much of it derived from the composer's piano etudes) is virtuosic and intricate, as indeed is the orchestral accompaniment. As the notes by Marilyn Nonken, who plays the socks off the solo part, point out, the piece is "architecturally complex and dramatically ambitious" though without renouncing the composer's ebullient "sense of play" (most notable, perhaps, in the jouncy asymmetries of the jazz-inflected scherzo).... Rakowski's concerto is a brilliant creation that offers a multitude of inventive details, lots of drama and excitement, and a satisfying sense of large-scale formal logic." - Mark Lehman (American Record Guide)

"The other interpreters on the scene, Gil Rose and the BMOP, are sterling in their preparation and superlatively musical. The disc is one of the orchestra's best thus far, and the weightiest and most satisfying in Rakowski's discography to date. Serious fun indeed!" - Christian Carey (Sequenza 21)



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Works Details

>Rakowski, David : Persistent Memory
  • Performers: Marilyn Nonken (Piano); Marilyn Nonken (Toy Piano)
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Ensemble: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Running Time: 21 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1996-1997

>Rakowski, David : Concerto for Piano
  • Performers: Marilyn Nonken (Piano); Marilyn Nonken (Toy Piano)
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Ensemble: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Running Time: 33 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005-2006

>Rakowski, David : Winged Contraption
  • Performers: Marilyn Nonken (Piano); Marilyn Nonken (Toy Piano)
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Ensemble: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Running Time: 9 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1991