Paul Cooper: Complete Music for Solo Piano
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR776     Release Date: 1998-01-01

John Hendrickson, piano

Cycles was commissioned by the Kansas Music Teachers for the state convention in 1969. The work was subsequently submitted to the Music Teachers National Association headquarters, where it was judged along with entries from other states. Cycles had the distinction of being named the best composition and earning for me the Distinguished Composer of the Year award. The twelve short pieces are of intermediate difficulty and are unified by common melodic materials. New notation and new keyboard techniques are in evidence-introducing young pianists to spatial and proportional notation of the 1950s and 1960s.

Jeffrey Kurtzman, a colleague at the Shepherd School, commissioned the Four Intermezzi as a gift for his wife. A double premiere in Houston-Kathi Kurtzman for the Tuesday Musical Club and Gary Smart for the SYZYGY, New Music at Rice series-launched the first on numerous performances in the United States and Europe.

In the early 1960s, numerous colleagues and friends commissioned me for several works resulting in the first violin concerto, two string quartets, and six sonatas. The Sonata for Piano is one such composition, commissioned by the supremely gifted young pianist, Ronald Rogers. The work is highly chromatic but also lyrical, and consists of three sections plus a reprise, all played without pause.

As with the Four Intermezzi, Frescoes was commissioned by Mimi Walker on the occasion of her husband, William Walker's 50th birthday. Each short movement emphasizes a particular interval-thirds, fifths, sixths, etc. Frescoes was widely performed in Europe this past summer.

John Perry commissioned the Sinfonia for Solo Piano to commemorate the 500,000th Steinway piano. The premiere took place in the Cullen Theater of the Wortham Theater Center in Houston. The fifty or sixty performances have been worldwide-from China to Poland and throughout the United States. It is a large, virtuoso work in classical three-movement form. The outside movements are extroverted while the middle movement might suggest a funeral dirge.

I began notating my compositions when I was about eight years old, and obviously there are more than these five piano pieces. John Hendrickson performs those works that I have included in my publisher's catalogue. The compositions span more than thirty years of creativity and are diverse in style and vocabulary.
-Paul Cooper, 1996

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

John Hendrickson

Paul Cooper: Complete Music for Solo Piano

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Track Listing

Cycles
Paul Cooper
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Four Intermezzi: I. Half Note = 40
Paul Cooper
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Four Intermezzi: II. Half Note = 72
Paul Cooper
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Four Intermezzi: III. Eighth Note = 160
Paul Cooper
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Four Intermezzi: IV. Half Note = 54
Paul Cooper
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Sonata for Piano: I. Tranquillo Diventando Agitato
Paul Cooper
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Sonata for Piano: II. Grave
Paul Cooper
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Sonata for Piano: III. Vivace
Paul Cooper
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Sonata for Piano: IV. Molto Agitato Diventando Tranquillo
Paul Cooper
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Frescoes: I. Study in Sixths - Calm and Reflective
Paul Cooper
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Frescoes: II. Study in Fifths - With Quiet Energy
Paul Cooper
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Frescoes: III. Study in Fourths - Quietly Dramatic
Paul Cooper
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Frescoes: IV. Study in Thirds - Fast and Aggressive
Paul Cooper
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Frescoes: V. Study in Octaves - Very Calm and Deeply Reflective
Paul Cooper
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Sinfonia for Solo Piano: I. Tempestoso
Paul Cooper
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Sinfonia for Solo Piano: II. Mesto
Paul Cooper
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Sinfonia for Solo Piano: III. Volando
Paul Cooper
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