Roger Sessions, Miriam Gideon & Ben Weber: Piano Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL481     Release Date: 2011-04-15
Robert Black, piano

Roger Sessions' Five Pieces for Piano were written in 1974 and 1975, thus coming between the cantata, When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed, and the Ninth Symphony. In this ordered group, pieces I and V are linked by the slower tempo of their finely-worked counterpoint and their symmetrical forms and pro- cedures; II and IV share a brilliant agitato character and the scherzando, Ill, stands in the center. It was while writing piece IV, having completed the rest of the group, that Sessions heard of the death of a close friend and colleague. The brief tranquillo section which begins at the thirteenth bar marks this exact moment compositionally, and the entire group is inscribed "to the memory of Luigi Dallapiccola."

Miriam Gideon's Sonata for Piano was composed in 1976-77. It was commissioned for the pianist Lillian Freundlich by her husband, Irwin Freundlich, a member of the piano faculty of the Juilliard School for more than forty years. The titles of the three movements are drawn from Swinburne's Choruses from Atlanta of Calydon: "Veiled Destinies," "Night, The Shadow of Light," and "Rapid and Footless Herds." A single harmonic cell is at the heart of each movement — those in the first and third movements being derived from one of the Morike Songs of Hugo Wolf, and that in the second movement from a song of Robert Schumann. The sonata recalls associations with some of the deepest experiences of the composer's youth. Robert Black gave the sonata its first performance in the spring of 1982.

About Variazioni, Ben Weber wrote:

"I have never sought to develop my creative bent in music solely as a twelve-tone technician. Since 1938 my music has usually been atonal, but sometimes I have written pieces which have strong tonal impetus, or at least implication. However, my use of twelve tone, i.e. serial, music has been consistent over a period of thirty years, and included most of what I and some others consider to be my most important work. I am not an experimenter primarily, though one does this as a matter of living concern, but I feel great respect for the best accomplishments of all times. I hope to have some part in preparing the future for those who will follow me.



This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available 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).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Robert Black

Roger Sessions, Miriam Gideon & Ben Weber: Piano Works

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Five Pieces for Piano: I. Lento
Roger Sessions
Buy
Five Pieces for Piano: II. Con fuoco
Roger Sessions
Buy
Five Pieces for Piano: III. Andante - Leggiero e grazioso
Roger Sessions
Buy
Five Pieces for Piano: IV. Molto agitato
Roger Sessions
Buy
Five Pieces for Piano: V. Molto adagio
Roger Sessions
Buy
Sonata for Piano: I. Veiled Destinies - Ardentamente
Miriam Gideon
Buy
Sonata for Piano: II. Night, The Shadows of Light - Andantino
Miriam Gideon
Buy
Sonata for Piano: III. Rapid and Footless Herds - Allegro
Miriam Gideon
Buy
Variazioni Quasi una Fantasia
Ben Weber
Buy