Concerti III

NEOS 21703CD NEOS 21703CD

Three completely different composers -- but three works with a great deal in common: gamelan, minimalism, parody. The GrauSchumacher Piano Duo keeps coming up with surprising but logical ideas, realizing these with fantastic pianistic virtuosity. In the 1960s, When American composers bid farewell to the cerebral exercises of the European avant-garde substantiated by historical-philosophical considerations, proclaiming the cult of a new simplicity, they also did this with reference to African drumming rituals, Indonesian gamelan music, pop art, and pop music. They called the result "minimalism," the most important characteristic of which, as with the gamelan, was repetitive patterns above a steady beat; these are transported into other musical aggregate states by means of gradually increasing (at first almost unnoticeable) disturbances, irregularities, and phase shifts. Together with the re-enthronement of the major and minor keys, these procedures frequently created psychedelic effects -- by no means unintentionally. American composer John Adams has provided a particularly vivid report on the stimuli that led him to compose his Grand Pianola Music (1982): he dreamt that he was driving on Interstate 5 when he was approached from behind by two black stretch limousines; when they passed him, they were transformed into the world's longest Steinway pianos and then launched salvos of B-flat major and E-flat major arpeggios at 90 miles per hour. Another important stimulus was the recollection of having walked through the halls of the San Francisco Conservatory and heard the sonic flood of 20 or more pianos "playing Chopin, the Emperor Concerto, Hanon, Rachmaninoff, the 'Maple Leaf Rag,' and much more." This disc presents the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo's performance of Adams's Grand Pianola Music with the Trio Mediæval and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, conducted by Brad Lubman, along with the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin's performances of Francis Poulenc's Concerto en ré mineur (1932) and Colin McPhee's Tabuh-Tabuhan (1936).