Paul Creston: Piano Music

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Catalogue No: TOCC0674
EAN/UPC: 5060113446749
Release Date: 2023-06-02
Composer: Paul Creston
Artists: Myron Silberstein

For some decades in the middle of the twentieth century, Paul Creston (1906–85) was one of the most frequently performed of American composers, though his music has sunk from prominence in recent years. He was himself a fearsome pianist, and his Three Narratives are Lisztian concert essays that require freewheeling virtuosity. Rhythmicon is a ten-volume collection of 123 brief studies that examine various aspects of rhythm. Their difficulty grows as the series progresses, reaching its zenith in Volumes 7–10, where Creston presents 25 studies that range in mood from serious to light-hearted, from hymn-like introspection and calm to jagged, Bartokian energy.

Myron Silbertstein, piano

Listen To This Recording:

    Three Narratives, Op. 79 (1962)

  1. Narrative No. 1
  2. Narrative No. 2
  3. Narrative No. 3
  4. Rhythmicon
    Volume 7

  5. No. 99 Affirmation
  6. No. 100 A Jest
  7. No. 101 Offertory
  8. No. 102 Mirror Etude
  9. No. 103 Interlude
  10. No. 104 Salve Regina
  11. No. 105 Child’s Play
  12. No. 106 Quasi-Barbaro
  13. Volume 8 (c. 1973)

  14. No. 107 Hemiola
  15. No. 108 Barcarolle
  16. No. 109 Badinage
  17. No. 110 Secret Game
  18. No. 111 La Fontanella
  19. No. 112 Pastorale
  20. No. 113 Morning Song
  21. No. 114 Brief Encounter
  22. Volume 9 (c. 1974)

  23. No. 115 Hommage à César Franck
  24. No. 116 Jaunty James
  25. No. 117 Brief Argument
  26. No. 118 Psychedelic Waltz
  27. No. 119 Nocturne
  28. Volume 10 (1974)

  29. No. 120 Toccata
  30. No. 121 Meditation
  31. No. 122 Burlesk
  32. No. 123 Epitome


5 reviews for Paul Creston: Piano Music

  1. :

    ‘If you already have a taste for warrior celebrants of the piano such as Stevenson, Sorabji and Chisholm then line this one up in your sights. Let’s hope that Silberstein will next turn to the earlier books of Rhythmicon and perhaps some more orchestral works. Step forward Naxos and Albany.’

    —Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘Want List for Andrew Desiderio [2023] […]

    Silberstein does the music a great service with heartfelt and impeccable playing, and I hope others follow suit by taking up the rich body of piano music by a true American iconoclast.’

    —Andrew Desiderio, Fanfare Magazine, Nov/Dec 2023

  3. :

    ‘That this is their world premiere recording, and that Myron Silberstein is thought to be the first pianist to play all three together is shameful. […]

    Myron Silberstein has focused much of his career on music that he feels deserves wider exposure, and he plays Creston’s works with brilliance, imagination, and real presence. Nothing on this disc sounds like once-over-lightly. The 25 studies from Rhythmicon have clearly been studied and fully absorbed by the pianist. The recorded sound is natural, to the extent that you stop thinking about it during the first minute or two. This is a very important release of piano music by a still undervalued American composer. ‘

    —Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine, Nov/Dec 2023

  4. :

    ‘Silberstein proves an ideal guide to this unfamiliar terrain. His technique is such that he can reveal with clarity everything that is going on, even at double forte or high speed. None of the many arpeggio or scale figures are smudged or sketchy. Admirably, he is so on top of the technical hurdles that we sense no strain or reining in of impetus, only the musical values of Creston’s fertile creative personality. […] This is a stimulating release, and the sound quality is terrific.’

    —Phillip Scott, Fanfare Magazine, Nov/Dec 2023

  5. :

    ‘[Rhythmicon] are engaging, often electrifying, virtuoso vehicles that will satisfy your brain and your heart in equal measure. It’s hard to understand why they’ve not joined the active repertoire.

    Myron Silberstein,[…], makes a strong case for the music, performing it with unflinching technique and conviction, as well as a grand post-Romantic spirit. Creston is not a contrapuntalist in the way Godowsky is; still, his love of massive chords at times produces textures so thick that they threaten to swamp your ears. But as Philip Scott pointed out reviewing his Persichetti, “Silberstein’s clean technique reveals every strand of the texture” (42:3)—with the consequence that you feel illuminated, rather than overloaded. Add to this his superb sense of rhythm (also noted by Scott) and, even more important, his sensitivity to the shifts in mood, and you have a disc that fascinates from first note to last. Fine engineering and, as I’ve said, first-rate notes. All in all, this absorbing release is another triumph from Toccata Classics.’

    —Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare Magazine, Nov/Dec 2023

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