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American Classics - Bolcom: Music for Two Pianos

Album Summary

>Bolcom, William : Recuerdos, for 2 pianos
>Bolcom, William : Frescoes, for 2 pianos, harmonium and harpsichord
>Bolcom, William : Sonata for Two Pianos in One Movement
>Bolcom, William : Interlude
>Bolcom, William : The Serpent's Kiss
>Bolcom, William : Through Eden's Gates
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"American composer William Bolcom is an instinctive eclectic. His compositional aesthetic was formulated at a time when Serialism ruled the roost within American academicism, but it was his discovery of ragtime that opened the door onto how he might express his own experience through a dialogue between popular and classical idioms. This CD of Bolcom's music for two pianos is vibrantly realised by Toronto-based duo Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann. Recuerdos (1991) is a huge1y entertaining set of ragtimes crossbred with South American folk music. The works are perhaps a nod towards the Saudades Do Brasil by Bolcom's onetime teacher Darius Milhaud, and the finale, 'Valse Venezolano', is given a fantastically bumpy structure by erupting bass-lines and other rude interruptions. The two ragtime pieces that end the disc, The Serpent's Kiss and Through Eden's Gates (1969/94), and the Sonata for Two Pianos (1993) also testify to Bolcom's canny ability to revitalise his stylistic references through constant harmonic surprises. The disc contains one masterpiece: Frescoes (1971) has clearly delineated musical 'panels' that converse within a tightly organised collage. The work is underpinned by a feeling of anger, and the title of the first section, 'War in Heaven', suggests Bolcom was reacting to the turbulent politics of the era. The pianists are required to doub1e on harpsichord and harmonium while improvising within controlled parameters, and the Bergmanns' ear for a cinematic sense of scene-shifting between foreground and background is expert1y judged." -International Piano



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Works Details

>Bolcom, William : Recuerdos, for 2 pianos
  • Performers: Elizabeth Bergmann (Piano); Marcel Bergmann (Piano)
  • Notes: Rolston Recital Hall, Banff, Alberta, Canada (01/07/2005-01/10/2005)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bolcom, William : Frescoes, for 2 pianos, harmonium and harpsichord
  • Performers: Elizabeth Bergmann (Piano); Marcel Bergmann (Piano)
  • Notes: Rolston Recital Hall, Banff, Alberta, Canada (01/07/2005-01/10/2005)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bolcom, William : Sonata for Two Pianos in One Movement
  • Performers: Elizabeth Bergmann (Piano); Marcel Bergmann (Piano)
  • Notes: Rolston Recital Hall, Banff, Alberta, Canada (01/07/2005-01/10/2005)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bolcom, William : Interlude
  • Performers: Elizabeth Bergmann (Piano); Marcel Bergmann (Piano)
  • Notes: Rolston Recital Hall, Banff, Alberta, Canada (01/07/2005-01/10/2005)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bolcom, William : The Serpent's Kiss
  • Performers: Elizabeth Bergmann (Piano); Marcel Bergmann (Piano)
  • Notes: Rolston Recital Hall, Banff, Alberta, Canada (01/07/2005-01/10/2005)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bolcom, William : Through Eden's Gates
  • Performers: Elizabeth Bergmann (Piano); Marcel Bergmann (Piano)
  • Notes: Rolston Recital Hall, Banff, Alberta, Canada (01/07/2005-01/10/2005)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary