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Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013' - Flaherty: Airdancing; Part Suite-a for solo piano; A. Schoenberg: Picture Etudes; Bounce for two pianos; Matheson: Cretic Variations / Nadia Shpachenko, Genevieve Feiwen Lee, pianos

Album Summary

>Flaherty, Tom : Airdancing, for toy piano, piano & electronics
>Yates, Peter [Composer] : Finger Songs, for piano
>Schoenberg, Adam : Picture Etudes, for piano
>Flaherty, Tom : Part Suite-a, for piano
>Matheson, James : Cretic Variations, for piano
>Schoenberg, Adam : Bounce, for 2 pianos
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This innovative project of 2013 compositions, all world premieres, brings together piano repertoire representing the diversity of today's American classical music. The new works were composed as a celebration of a newly transformed world, for the new 5,125 year cycle of the Mayan Calendar, inspired by the happy fact that the world did NOT end on December 21, 2012 at the end of the previous Mayan Calendar cycle!

This innovative project of new compositions, all world premieres, brings together piano repertoire representing the diversity of today's American classical music. The new works were composed as a celebration of a newly transformed world, for the new 5,125 year cycle of the Mayan Calendar, inspired by the happy fact that the world did not end on December 21, 2012 at the end of the previous Mayan Calendar cycle!

Imperial Valley Press
A brilliant pianist ... spellbinding in sensitivity and mastery of technique.

Pasadena Star News
Incredible performance full of emotions ... virtuoso playing at its best.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Bridges Hall Of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (07/11/2013-07/14/2013).



Reviews

Evolutionary rather than revolutionary
Pianist Nadia Shpachenko commissioned four composers to write music for her. But they weren't just any four composers, and it wasn't just for any reason. To usher in the new era (according to the Mayan calendar), Shpachenko asked four close friends to write works that would represent a new look at piano literature.

Although the resulting works aren't quite that revolutionary (at least to my ears), they still are well-crafted works that deserve a listen.

In a way, these works bridge the gap between the extreme avant-garde and the post-modern traditional. Although stylistically different, they all were written for a friend -- Shpachenko -- and because they share the same inspiration, collectively present a cohesive program.

Tom Flaherty's Airdancing for toy piano, piano, and electronics, uses the toy piano both as a tinny melodic instrument and as a metallic non-tonal percussion instrument. The exotic timbres reminded me strongly of Harry Partch's music. Flaherty's second work, Part Suite-a, uses thick tone clusters throughout, but with more major seconds than minor second groupings, softening the dissonance in an appealing way.

The Picture Etudes of Adam Schoenberg is a suite of four short vignettes that seemed to have echoes of Martinu in some sections. And the addition of the bass drum and gong work (played by the pianist) are both understated and quite effective in their use. His work Bounce concludes the recital, a work for two pianos that sounds like it was a lot of fun to play (it certainly was to listen to).

Cretic Variations by James Matheson is the longest work on the disc (14 minutes), and is a jazzy, percussive and thoroughly modern delight.

Nadia Shpachenko collaborated in the creation of these works, giving her an emotional investment and empathy with them. She conveys that empathy with sure, insightful delivery.

Submitted on 02/12/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Flaherty, Tom : Airdancing, for toy piano, piano & electronics
  • Performers: Genevieve Lee (Electronics); Genevieve Lee (Toy Piano); Nadia Shpachenko (Piano)
  • Notes: Bridges Hall Of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (07/11/2013-07/14/2013)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2013

>Yates, Peter [Composer] : Finger Songs, for piano
  • Performer: Nadia Shpachenko (Piano)
  • Notes: Bridges Hall Of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (07/11/2013-07/14/2013)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2013

>Schoenberg, Adam : Picture Etudes, for piano
  • Performer: Nadia Shpachenko (Piano)
  • Notes: Bridges Hall Of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (07/11/2013-07/14/2013)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2013

>Flaherty, Tom : Part Suite-a, for piano
  • Performer: Nadia Shpachenko (Piano)
  • Notes: Bridges Hall Of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (07/11/2013-07/14/2013)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2013

>Matheson, James : Cretic Variations, for piano
  • Performer: Nadia Shpachenko (Piano)
  • Notes: Bridges Hall Of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (07/11/2013-07/14/2013)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2013

>Schoenberg, Adam : Bounce, for 2 pianos
  • Performers: Genevieve Lee (Piano); Nadia Shpachenko (Piano)
  • Notes: Bridges Hall Of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, CA (07/11/2013-07/14/2013)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary