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Nancarrow: Pieces Nos. 1 & 2; ¿Tango?; String Quartet No. 1
     

Nancarrow: Pieces Nos. 1 & 2; ¿Tango?; String Quartet No. 1

by Continuum
 
Previously released by the Musical Heritage Society in 1991, this 2005 Naxos reissue is heartily recommended for its remarkable variety; and the outstanding new music ensemble Continuum should be commended for perpetuating Conlon Nancarrow's fascinating legacy. Known to many listeners as an eccentric, experimental composer for the player

Overview

Previously released by the Musical Heritage Society in 1991, this 2005 Naxos reissue is heartily recommended for its remarkable variety; and the outstanding new music ensemble Continuum should be commended for perpetuating Conlon Nancarrow's fascinating legacy. Known to many listeners as an eccentric, experimental composer for the player piano, and long unknown for his other instrumental works, Nancarrow is fairly portrayed in a program that reflects his range more fully. The works for player piano are represented here by the outrageously rapid-fire "Toccata for violin and player piano" (1943), performed by violinist Mia Wu, and some two-hand and four-hand piano arrangements of other mechanical piano studies, brilliantly played by Continuum directors Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs. But the "Piece No. 1 for small orchestra" (1943); the "Trio Movement for clarinet, bassoon and piano" (1942); the "String Quartet No. 1" (1945); and the "Piece No. 2" (1986) offset them, and are in their own quirky ways as intriguing and amusing. Nancarrow's games with ratios, tricky cross-rhythms, and angular counterpoint are still in evidence in these compositions, but the presence of live performers brings another dimension to the music that makes it frolic with chaotic jubilation, very much in the spirit of Charles Ives. The reproduction of these 1989 performances is terrific.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune - John von Rhein
I found these pieces so engaging and the performances by Continuum so expertly made that I wanted to play this disc over and over again.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/21/2005
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943919620
catalogNumber:
8559196
Rank:
178851

Tracks

  1. Piece No.1 for Small Orchestra
  2. Toccata for violin & piano
  3. Work(s): Prelude [arr. for piano 4 hands] and Blues [solo]
  4. Study for Player Piano No.15, canon 3/4
  5. Tango?, for piano
  6. Sonatina for piano
  7. Trio No.1, for clarinet, bassoon & piano: Trio Movement
  8. String Quartet No.1
  9. Piece No.2 for Small Orchestra

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