Phillip Ramey: Piano Music, Volume Two, 1966-2007

Catalogue No: TOCC0077
EAN/UPC: 5060113440778
Release Date: 2008-05-05
Composer: Phillip Ramey
Artists: Mirian Conti

The piano music of the American composer Phillip Ramey (b. 1939) is rooted in the motoric athleticism of Prokofiev and Bartók, to which influences he has blended sober lyricism, spicy modernist dissonance and a fresh approach to the grand Romantic gesture. This second Toccata Classics album of his piano music presents the first recordings of the early Slavic-inflected Diversions and the dark, dramatic Piano Sonata No. 4. The other works include the loosely dodecaphonic Epigrams and the Leningrad Rag, a satiric take-off on Scott Joplin written for the legendary Vladimir Horowitz. This varied recital concludes with the recent, rip-roaring Primitivo, a succinct study in sophisticated barbarism.

Mirian Conti, piano

Listen To This Recording:

    Diversions (1966)

  1. No. 1, Sarcasm (Allegro moderato)
  2. No. 2, Solitude (Adagio)
  3. No. 3, The Mouse and the Bear (Moderato con moto)
  4. No. 4, Night (Andante)
  5. No. 5, Petrushka (Allegro moderato)
  6. No. 6, Specter (Moderato con moto)
  7. No. 7, Windmills (Allegro)
  8. No. 8, Homage to Prokofiev (Allegro festivo)
  9. Epigrams, Book One (1967)

  10. I. Calm
  11. II. Sarcastic
  12. III. Flowing
  13. IV. Declamatory
  14. V. Dream-like
  15. VI. Singing
  16. VII. Jaunty
  17. VIII. Somber
  18. IX. Vigorous
  19. X. Dispassionate
  20. XI. Angry
  21. Leningrad Rag (Mutations on Scott Joplin) (1972)
  22. Winter Nocturne (2003)
  23. Toccata No. 1 (1986)
  24. Ode for F. D. R. (2004)
  25. Toccata No. 2 (1990)
  26. Piano Sonata No. 4 (1987–88)

  27. I. Monologue with Arabesques
  28. II. Fantasy-Ballade
  29. Primitivo (2007)

4 reviews for Phillip Ramey: Piano Music, Volume Two, 1966-2007

  1. :

    ‘The Diversions are a cavalcade of angular grotesqueries [… with] a romantic sensibility coloured by the piano music of Bartók and Prokofiev’, and the Leningrad Rag ‘a sort of cross between Kapustin, Joplin and 1960s Copland … written for Horowitz of all people.’

    —Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘These compositions make huge demands on the performer (Copland thought of him [Ramey] as a modern-day Liszt) but their rewards for the listener are legion. The dazzling Mirian Conti guides us on a journey from serialism and atonality through to colour effects and tone clusters in a collection which includes the glorious "Leningrad Rag", a brilliant subversion of Scott Joplin.’

    —Stephen Pritchard, The Observer

  3. :

    ‘The liner notes give insight as to the construction of this piece and are extremely informative. In addition is a brief commentary by the performer on Ramey’s piano music. Recorded in the presence of the composer, these appear to be the definitive performances of these pieces. The sound quality is very good, and Conti’s performances are assured. Certainly recommended for fans of Alexander Tcherepnin and Prokofiev. Considering that Piano Sonata 3 is not yet released, and there are approximately fifty Ramey piano compositions, we have more discs in this series to look forward to. More please!’

    —David Blomenberg, MusicWeb International

  4. :

    ‘Conti is a fine player and reinforces her advocacy of the music in the booklet-notes. […]

    His [Ramey] piano music is technically resourceful. […]

    The forthright and ample recorded sound fits the musical content well, and informed annotation is more extensive […] than most other labels dare to attempt.’

    —Arnold Withtall, Gramophone

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *