ALBUM DETAILS

Arthur Berger, Harold Shapero, Virgil Thomson

Composer(s): Harold Shapero, Virgil Thomson, Arthur Berger
Album Title: Works for Piano Four Hands 
Cat. No.: 80536
Genre: Classical
 
Description: Works for Piano Four Hands

David Kopp, Rodney Lister-piano

Music for piano four hands has always formed part of the standard keyboard literature. While the four-hand repertoire is largely identified with nineteenth-century music, it has continued to thrive in the twentieth century. The four-hand pieces on this disc attest to the continued vitality of the genre. All are making their first appearance on CD. Thomson, Berger, and Shapero, despite their distinctive styles, were all associated in their formative years with the American neoclassical school of composition. This was a tonal style prevalent from the mid-1920s to the early 1950s, influenced primarily by Stravinsky, French compositional sensibilities, and American jazz and folk idioms.

Virgil Thomson's beguiling Symphony on a Hymn Tune (in John Kirkpatrick’s transcription for four-hands),
Harold Shapero's exuberant Four-Hand Sonata for Piano and Arthur Berger’s engaging Suite for Piano Four-Hands are very much in the neoclassical mold. In contrast, Berger's later Composition for Piano Four-Hands and his arrangement of his orchestral piece Perspectives III are written in the spare, elegant manner of his mature style.

This is wonderful, distinctive, often brilliant music, and this excellent recording will illuminate a hitherto little-known corner of the genre. The performers’ long personal and professional association with all three composers informs the fluent and empathic performances. 
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