Bolcom: Music for Two Pianos

Bolcom: Music for Two Pianos

by Marcel Bergmann
     
 
This 2005 survey of William Bolcom's music for two pianos covers a fairly wide period, since it ranges from the short "Interlude" of 1963 to arrangements made in 1994. All the same, Bolcom's characteristic amalgamations of ragtime, popular songs and dances, avant-garde keyboard techniques, and Classical forms are apparent throughout the collection, so the chronology

Overview

This 2005 survey of William Bolcom's music for two pianos covers a fairly wide period, since it ranges from the short "Interlude" of 1963 to arrangements made in 1994. All the same, Bolcom's characteristic amalgamations of ragtime, popular songs and dances, avant-garde keyboard techniques, and Classical forms are apparent throughout the collection, so the chronology of these highly eclectic pieces is not a helpful indicator of style. Bolcom's rags, parodies, and pastiches may be fun, even charming, especially to listeners who have never heard his tongue-in-cheek music before. Such pleasant and witty fare as "The Serpent's Kiss" and "Through Eden's Gate" (both 1969, arranged 1994), and the three nostalgic pieces of "Recuerdos" (1991) are the most direct selections and the easiest for newcomers to grasp. However, those well-acquainted with Bolcom's accessible manner and kitschy mannerisms may turn instead to "Frescoes for two pianos, harmonium, and harpsichord" (1971), which is one of Bolcom's darker meditations in the vein of Black Host and other probing works of the early '70s; or try the spiky and dense "Sonata for Two Pianos in One Movement" (1993), which must be regarded as a serious effort in the genre. Pianists Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann are fluid in their execution and absolutely fluent in Bolcom's changeable rhetoric, and their buoyant performances are technically and expressively close to the composer's own style of playing. Naxos provides its best sound quality.

Editorial Reviews

Toronto Star - John Terauds
1/2 Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann sound like they were born to play the exuberant compositions of William Bolcom.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/15/2005
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943924426
catalogNumber:
8559244
Rank:
227753

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Recuerdos

    • William Bolcom
    • Michelangelo
    • Elizabeth Bergmann
    • Marcel Bergmann
    1. Chôro (Homage to Nazareth)  (03:28)
    2. Paseo (à la mémoire de Louis-Moreau Gottschalk)  (05:22)
    3. Valse Venezolano (à la mémoire de Ramón Delgado Palacios)  (04:35)
  2. Frescoes for two pianos, harmonium and harpsichord

    • William Bolcom
    • Michelangelo
    • Elizabeth Bergmann
    • Marcel Bergmann
    1. War in Heaven  (13:18)
    2. The Caves of Orcus  (14:58)
  3. Sonata for Two Pianos in One Movement  - William Bolcom  -  Michelangelo  - Elizabeth Bergmann  - Marcel Bergmann  (15:45)
  4. Interlude  - William Bolcom  -  Michelangelo  - Elizabeth Bergmann  - Marcel Bergmann  (03:56)
  5. The Serpent's Kiss  - William Bolcom  -  Michelangelo  - Elizabeth Bergmann  - Marcel Bergmann  (05:39)
  6. Through Eden's Gates  - William Bolcom  -  Michelangelo  - Elizabeth Bergmann  - Marcel Bergmann  (05:07)

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