Seda Roeder’s Black and White Statements (CD Review)

Black and White Statements: The Austrian Sound of Piano Today Seda Roeder, piano Gramola The follow-up to Listening to Istanbul, Seda Roeder’s CD spotlighting Turkish composers, Black and White Statements provides a wide-ranging overview of Austrian composers who write for the piano. Roeder is a champion of composers of many nationalities and stylistic backgrounds. OnContinue reading “Seda Roeder’s Black and White Statements (CD Review)”

31 Memorable Recordings from 2013

File Under ?’s Best Recordings of 2013 (in no particular order) Yvar Mikhashoff, Panorama of American Piano Music (Mode) Robert Levin and Ursula Oppens, Piano Music 1960-2010 – Bernard Rands (Bridge) New York Polyphony, Time Go By Turns (BIS) Julia Holter, Loud City Song (Domino) Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner, Signs, Games, and Messages (Cedille)Continue reading “31 Memorable Recordings from 2013”

Matt Mitchell – Fiction

File Under Best of 2013 Matt Mitchell Fiction Matt Mitchell, piano; Ches Smith, drums and percussion Pi Recordings The pieces on Fiction, pianist Matt Mitchell’s debut recording as a leader, began as etudes. Composed by the pianist in an attempt to integrate his notated composing and his considerable prowess as an improvisor, they soon took onContinue reading “Matt Mitchell – Fiction”

O’Riley’s Liszt

File Under Best CDs of 2013 O’Riley’s Liszt Christopher O’Riley, piano Oxingale During the past decade, Christopher O’Riley has been quite busy, hosting From the Top, concertizing, and recording his adaptations of pop songs by Radiohead, Nick Drake, and Elliott Smith.  But he hasn’t released an all-classical CD since a Scriabin disc in 2004. That is, untilContinue reading “O’Riley’s Liszt”

Bryn Roberts – Fables

File Under Best of 2013 Bryn Roberts Fables Nine-Eight Records   I first heard pianist Bryn Roberts this year, supporting Dar Williams in a gig at Symphony Space. I was struck by the many ways that he expanded on Williams’s deliberately unfussy harmonic language with coloristic voicings and embellishments that still allowed the music toContinue reading “Bryn Roberts – Fables”

Lewis Spratlan – The Architect

Architect Composed by Lewis Spratlan with electroacoustic music by John Downey and Jenny Kallick Libretto by Jenny Kallick Navona Records CD/DVD Pulitzer prizewinning composer Lewis Spratlan, abetted by electronics from John Downey and Jenny Kallick, crafts an elegant meditation on creativity in the chamber opera Architect. It is based on the ideas and life storyContinue reading “Lewis Spratlan – The Architect”