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Dances for Piano and Orchestra
     

Dances for Piano and Orchestra

by Joel Fan
 
American pianist Joel Fan, a veteran of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, seems to have inherited his mentor's flair for unusual programming, and he has parlayed that into a commercially successful series of recordings on San Francisco's Reference Recordings label. Here he does it again, and so well that one will almost wish a pianist with a bit

Overview

American pianist Joel Fan, a veteran of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, seems to have inherited his mentor's flair for unusual programming, and he has parlayed that into a commercially successful series of recordings on San Francisco's Reference Recordings label. Here he does it again, and so well that one will almost wish a pianist with a bit more flamboyance would take up a similar program. All the works on the album are single-movement dance pieces for piano and orchestra, an almost-forgotten Romantic genre, and without exception they are a lot of fun. Chopin is represented by the almost-unheard "Krakowiak in F major, Op. 14," a dance he abandoned for the murkier and more ambiguous mazurka later on; the "Krakowiak" is cut from the same cloth as the two Chopin piano concertos. Another lesser-known work by a "name" composer is the "Grand Tarantelle, Op. 67," of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, who has attracted attention mostly for his African American-inflected pieces. Here and elsewhere one wishes for more oomph from Fan and the Northwest Sinfonietta under Christophe Chagnard, for Gottschalk and Liszt (represented by his arrangement of Weber's "Polonaise Brillante, Op. 72") were over-the-top performers. Fan does, though, unearth several sparkling pieces that would enliven any symphony program. Among these Gabriel Pierné's "Fantaisie-Ballet, Op. 6," which is exactly what the name suggests: a series of French ballet musical moves knit together into a little concerto. Another find also would benefit from a broader reading: Charles Wakefield Cadman's "Dark Dancers of the Mardi Gras" (Fantasy for orchestra with piano) is a jazz-flavored New Orleans mood piece broadening out into big Hollywood tunes at the end. But Fan deserves credit for rescuing most of this music from the scrap heap of history.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2014
Label:
Reference Recordings
UPC:
0030911113421
catalogNumber:
134

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Grande Tarantelle, for piano & orchestra, Op. 67, D. 66 (RO 259)
  2. Polacca brillante for piano ("L'Hilarité"), J. 268 (Op. 72)
  3. Wedding Cake, caprice-valse for piano & strings in A flat major, Op. 76
  4. Rondo à la krakowiak for piano & orchestra in F major, Op. 14, CT. 194
  5. Vals Capricho, for piano (or piano & orchestra), Op. 1
  6. Fantaisie-Ballet, for piano & orchestra in B flat major, Op. 6

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joel Fan   Primary Artist

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