The piano music of American composer Phillip Ramey (b. 1939) has its roots in the motoric athleticism of Prokofiev and Bartók, refracted through the wiry and elegant polyphony of his teacher, Alexander Tcherepnin. To these early influences Ramey has brought the tangy dissonance of mainstream modernism and a Lisztian enjoyment of the grand Romantic gesture. The works on this CD range in mood from tranquil introspection by way of sober lyricism to thunderous explosions of demonic energy expressed in high-octane piano-writing that pushes virtuosity to the limit.
Stephen Gosling, piano
Piano Sonata No. 1 (1961) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0029/TOCC0029t12.mp3
Piano Sonata No. 2 (1966; rev. 2003) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0029/TOCC0029t15.mp3
Four Tangier Portraits (1991t99) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0029/TOCC0029t20.mp3
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Catalogue No: TOCC0029EAN/UPC: 5060113440297Release Date: 01.05.2006Composer: Phillip Ramey Artists: Stephen Gosling
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Ying Chang :
“a disc of very great interest” —Ying Chang, Musical Pointers
“Stephen Gosling is a strong executant of all these works. It’s a harrowing assignment given the stringent technical demands. He plays the quite pieces with majestic serenity and wallops the hell out of the more extroverted ones, such as the final toccata. As someone who has been influenced by Ramey’s writing since I was a child, I find that his music is even stronger that his prose.” —Sullivan, American Record Guid
Gary Higginson :
“The enterprising company Toccata have struck again.…This CD is one to which I will return. … I know that the experience will be well worthwhile.” —Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International
Colin Anderson :
“Toccata Classics’ inimitable presentation includes a back-cover précis of the music at hand. Thus if the music of Prokofiev and Bartók appeals, and that of Alexander Tcherepnin, and descriptions such as “tangy dissonance of mainstream modernism” and “a Lisztian enjoyment of the grand Romantic gesture” are enticing, then this release could well be for you. If further persuasion is needed then maybe “tranquil introspection”, “thunderous explosions” and “demonic energy” will do it for you. If all this sounds gratuitous, particularly the “thunderous” and “demonic” aspects, and suggesting that the composer is first and foremost seeking effects, then listening to this release is something of a revelation.” —Colin Anderson, Classical Source
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